Middle East/Africa

Experience

  • Mergers And Acquisitions

    • Helios Investment Partners, the leading Africa-focused private investment firm, in its sale of a 49% stake in GBfoods Africa, one of Africa's largest FMCG groups.
    • LeapFrog Investments in its $500 million partnership with Temasek, including Temasek taking a minority stake in LeapFrog, and a multi-fund investment by Temasek to anchor LeapFrog’s future funds.
    • Helios Investment Partners in its launch of Africa Specialty Risk Group, a reinsurance business.
    • Helios Investment Partners in its role as financial sponsor of sub-Saharan Africa’s first LNG import terminal comprising a purpose-built floating regasification unit twinned with an existing LNG carrier in the port of Tema, Ghana.
    • LeapFrog Investments in its investment in MedGenome, a leading genetic diagnostics, research and data company focused on expanding access for populations in South Asia and other emerging markets, with operations in the U.S., India, Canada and Singapore.
    • TPG Growth in its takeover of the existing assets of the Abraaj Group’s $1 billion Global Healthcare Fund. The deal saw Debevoise win the “Specialist Deal Legal Advisor” category at the Private Equity Africa Awards.
    • HarbourVest Partners in its secondary acquisition of a majority interest in Digital Prosperity Fund I and an associated co-investment vehicle, both managed by Amadeus Capital Partners, from MTN Group.
    • Capital Group Private Markets and other selling shareholders in the $1.85 billion sale of Eaton Towers to American Tower. The deal won the “M&A Deal of the Year” category at the IFLR1000 Sub-Saharan Africa Awards.
    • Helios Investment Partners in its investment in KMR Holding Pédagogique, a Morocco-based leading private higher education group.
    • LeapFrog Investments in its investment in Pyramid Group, the largest distributor of cardiac and orthopaedic equipment in East Africa.
    • SBM Ventures in its investment in mPharma, an Africa-based company that manages prescription drug inventory for pharmacies and their suppliers in various African jurisdictions.
    • Prudential Financial, as the primary investor in LeapFrog Strategic African Investments (LSAI), in LSAI’s $180 million investment in Ghanaian financial services market leader Enterprise Group.
    • Helios Investment Partners in its sale of a minority stake in Interswitch to TA Associates. Helios Investment Partners remains the majority shareholder following the transaction.
    • Capital Group Private Markets, part of Capital Group, in its acquisition of a 35% interest in Tsebo, the leading Pan-African facilities services company.
    • Helios Investment Partners in a subsequent investment in MallforAfrica, a Nigerian e-commerce company.
    • A private equity fund in the subscription of subordinated convertible promissory notes in a Cayman Islands incorporated company which operates an energy business in Africa.
    • Helios Investment Partners and its investment vehicle Samba Luxco Sarl in the settlement of claims made in an ICC Arbitration regarding Samba's stake in Africatel BV. The settlement involved reducing Samba’s stake in Africatel BV from 25% to 14%, and the transfer from Africatel BV to Samba of a 34% stake in Mobile Telecommunications Limited, the Namibian telecoms operator.
    • Opportunity International in its sale of a majority stake in Kinshasa, a microfinance institution operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to VisionFund International.
    • Prudential Financial in its $350 million partnership with LeapFrog Investments, targeting investments in life insurance companies in Africa.
    • HarbourVest Partners in its investment, as part of a consortium of new investors, in a follow-on capital raise by a private equity-owned telecom tower company in Africa with broad geographical coverage over the continent.
    • Helios Investment Partners in its minority investment in Wananchi Group as part of a $130 million investment from Helios and existing shareholders.
    • Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in its acquisition of up to a 49% stake in NYSE-listed CHC Group, the world's largest commercial helicopter operator with an enterprise value of $1.9 billion.
    • Helios Investment Partners in the acquisition by Helios Towers Africa of 3,100 telecommunications towers, located throughout Africa, from Bharti Airtel.
    • A consortium including HarbourVest Partners and Coller Capital, in their secondary purchase of interests in Absa Capital Private Equity Fund I from Barclays Africa Group, formerly known as Absa Capital, as part of a spin-out of Absa Capital Private Equity from the Absa Group.
    • Helios Investment Partners in its investment in MallforAfrica, a Nigerian e-commerce company.
    • Capital International Global Emerging Markets Private Equity Fund in its purchase of a minority interest in Mobile Systems International Holdings B.V.
    • The Carlyle Group in fund and tax structuring advice relating to its $210 million acquisition of a minority interest in Export Trading Group.
    • Helios Investment Partners in the acquisition of a controlling stake in Interswitch, Nigeria’s largest electronic transaction switching and payment processing service provider, from several Nigerian banks.
    • Genbel Securities, the investment management arm of Sanlam Financial Services Group (South Africa), in its sale of Fieldstone, an investment banking boutique focused on project finance and infrastructure projects, to Fieldstone Private Capital Group.
    • Merrill Lynch, as financial advisor to Dimension Data Holdings plc, in Dimension Data Holdings plc's $376 million acquisition of Proxicom.
    • A Ripplewood-led consortium in its purchase of a minority interest in The Commercial Bank of Egypt.
    • Ripplewood, Eton Park and RHJ International in the sale of their minority interest in Commercial International Bank to Actis.
    • The acquisition of a strategic stake in a major Algerian state-owned company. (Terminated)
  • Joint Ventures

    • Helios Investment Partners in the formation of a joint-venture with GBfoods targeting the African fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, creating one of Africa's largest FMCG groups, operating in 30 African countries, including leadership positions in Nigeria and Ghana.
    • Eutelsat in a partnership initiative to provide data connectivity to Sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Phelps Dodge in its joint-venture with Dynatec to evaluate development of the Ambatovy nickel deposit in Madagascar, and in its sale of its 47% interest in the Ambatovy nickel deposit in Madagascar to its joint-venture partner Dynatec in exchange for an interest in Dynatec.
  • Projects

    • Korea Heavy Industries and Construction, a major Korean industrial company, in a proposed power plant project in Morocco. (Terminanted)
    • Mitsui in its proposed development of a phosphate manufacturing facility in Morocco.
  • Fund Formation

    • Development Partners International in the formation of African Development Partners III Fund, a $900 million fund investing in innovation-led companies in Africa.
    • The Carlyle Group in the spin-out of its sub-Saharan Africa team.
    • The Carlyle Group in the formation of Carlyle Sub-Saharan Africa Fund, a $698 million Sub-Saharan Africa fund.
    • The Carlyle Group in the formation of Carlyle MENA Partners, a $500 million Middle East and North Africa buyout fund.
    • Zephyr Management in the formation of Pan-African Investment Partners, a $150 million Africa buyout fund.
    • Zephyr Management in the formation of South Africa Capital Growth Fund, a $125 million South Africa buyout fund.
  • Finance

    • Helios Investment Partners in fund arrangement aspects of the IPO on the London Stock Exchange of Vivo Energy, the company that distributes and markets Shell-branded fuels and lubricants to retail and commercial customers in Africa.
    • LeapFrog Investments in its $50 million capital call facility with Standard Chartered Bank.
    • Ashanti Goldfields in Ghana on various syndicated bank financings.
  • International Disputes

    • The Republic of Iraq in a complete dismissal of claims for over US$650 million brought by Agility Warehousing Company relating to a telecommunications investment, substantially prevailing on jurisdictional objections and achieving a complete victory for the Republic on the merits with a full award of costs, in the first ICSID arbitration brought against the Republic. The Debevoise team was recognized as The American Lawyer’s Litigators of the Week for their win.
    • Tethyan Copper Company in its $6 billion arbitration win against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which is the second-largest ICSID award ever rendered.
    • The State of Qatar against the United Arab Emirates before the International Court of Justice concerning the application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), including twice prevailing in proceedings on provisional measures.
    • Qatar Airways as claimant in four investment arbitrations against the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt (the “Four States”) seeking at least $5 billion in damages from the Four States’ unlawful measures to close their airspace and airports to Qatar Airways’ aircraft and revoking Qatar Airways’ licences and permits to operate in the Four States.
    • A major London-based mining company and its African subsidiary, one of the largest mining and metals companies in Africa, in four parallel LCIA arbitrations relating to a $500 million dispute with a major contractor over short delivery and other alleged breaches of a contract for mining services at an open cast copper mine in Southern Africa.
    • The Republic of Iraq in successfully defending ICSID claims brought by Itisaluna Iraq LLC and others under the OIC Agreement arising out of a dispute concerning the telecommunications sector. In the jurisdictional stage, we contended that the Parties to the dispute had not consented in writing to submit the dispute to ICSID arbitration. The tribunal dismissed all claims for lack of jurisdiction and awarded close to two-thirds of costs to the Republic.
    • A Nigerian oil services company in an ad hoc arbitration seated in London against an international joint venture partner in claims for breaches of a Shareholders’ Agreement.
    • The State of Qatar in two separate proceedings against the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia before the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination under the CERD, resulting in a historic decision to constitute ad hoc Conciliation Commissions to consider Qatar’s complaints.
    • An international oil company regarding a boundary dispute with an African state.
    • The State of Qatar in two proceedings against the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt before the International Court of Justice concerning the appeal relating to the jurisdiction of the ICAO Council under the Convention on International Civil Aviation and the International Air Services Transit Agreement, resulting in a unanimous verdict in Qatar’s favor.
    • Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Limited and Pangea Minerals Limited, subsidiaries of Acacia Mining plc, in a mining arbitration against the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania seated in London under the UNCITRAL Rules.
    • The Government of Ghana against claims brought by Telekom Malaysia Berhad for over $150 million in an arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules pursuant to the Malaysia – Ghana BIT. The case settled amicably after final hearings.
    • A former government official of an African nation in FCPA and money laundering charges in the Southern District of New York.
    • Adel al Tamimi in an ICSID arbitration against the Sultanate of Oman relating to an investment in a limestone quarry.
    • A leading engineering, construction, and project management company in a potential investment treaty claim in the Middle East.
    • A U.S.-based natural resources company in an ICC arbitration against an African State-owned entity relating to the sale of shares in a holding company with significant assets in an African country.
    • A consortium of international EPC contractors in pre-arbitral proceedings over a delay and disruption to construction of an airport in the Middle East.
    • A major publicly listed mining company in a dispute with an African government regarding a multibillion-dollar mining project.
    • A leading investment management firm in potential acquisition and enforcement of claims and an arbitration award against an African nation.
    • A Qatari entity against a U.S. entity in an ICDR arbitration concerning the termination of a franchise agreement, resulting in a settlement on favorable terms.
    • A Canadian mining group in a dispute with the government of an African country, concerning claims of breach of the tax stabilisation and other provisions of an agreement for the operation of a copper treatment facility, and an expropriation of certain of the mining company’s rights.
    • A leading natural resources group in its criminal investigation by the SFO into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption relating to the activities of the company or its subsidiaries in Kazakhstan and Africa.
    • Exxon Mobil Development Company and its subsidiary Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria in challenging the constitution and jurisdiction of a tribunal in arbitration proceedings.
    • An international mining group in its ongoing tax dispute in the context of development agreements with the Government of Zambia.
    • ICC arbitration relating to a dispute in the region of $100 million arising out of the installation of an extensive telecommunications and Data Control System in North Africa.