A&K is extremely honoured to have received the “Capital Markets Deal of the Year” award at the IFLR1000 Africa Awards 2020, which were announced virtually on 10 September, for its work in advising Airtel Africa in connection with its initial public offering deal.
A&K acted as the lead Africa legal adviser coordinating transactional, regulatory (telecom and mobile money) and competition advice over 14 jurisdictions in Africa in connection with a pre-IPO investment of USD 1.25 billion investment in a newly formed holding company, Airtel Africa. Following the Pre-IPO investment, A&K acted for Bharti Airtel International in connection with an initial public offering of the shares in the new entity on the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, including leading and coordinating the drafting and preparation of the regulatory element of the prospectus for the IPO.
“The deal was complex as it involves different stages with highly sophisticated investors and stock exchanges. The deal also involved multiple African jurisdictions and we were able to provide the client with a ‘one-stop-shop’ by coordinating the due diligence exercise, regulatory and competition advice under tight deadlines,” says A&K Director Roddy McKean who led the team advising on the deal.“The transaction and investment by Airtel Africa also reinforce the increased growth potential of the Africa telecommunications sector,” Roddy concludes.
A&K further extends heartfelt congratulations to the winners in the other categories and is proud to have advised on several other prominent cross-border transactions that were also recognised at the awards for breaking new grounds, including:
1. CAPITAL MARKETS DEAL OF THE YEAR: Acorn bond programme, issuance and listing
A&K acted as the lead transaction counsel for Acorn as the Issuer and Stanbic Bank Kenya and SBG Securities, the lead arrangers, in connection with a USD 50 million MTN programme for several proposed purpose-built student housing by Acorn Holding, a leading real estate developer.
A&K Partner Sonal Sejpal who led the team on this deal termed it as “a complex finance transaction… requiring investors to invest in tranches depending on various conditions including site acquisition and construction programme.”
As part of its role in acting for the issuer and the arrangers, A&K was also involved in coordinating multijurisdictional advice on different transactional aspects.
2. DOMESTIC DEAL OF THE YEAR: ICEA Lion Asset Management / Stanlib Fahari I-REIT
A&K acted for Liberty Holdings, a Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed company, and its Kenyan subsidiary – Stanlib Kenya, in connection with the sale of their real estate investment trust in Kenya (the Stanlib Fahari I-REIT) and a Unit Trust, which are both regulated by the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya to ICEA Lion Asset Management.
“The deal involved the sale of Kenya’s first listed real estate investment trust (I-REIT) making it the first of its kind in the country,” comments A&K Partner Anne Kiunuhe who was in charge of the team advising on the transaction and has been involved in a number of prominent corporate transactions in Kenya.
3. M&A DEAL OF THE YEAR: AfricInvest Capital Partners / I&M Bank
A&K acted as lead counsel for AfricInvest’s financial inclusion vehicle, a company targeting equity investments in Tier II and Tier III financial institutions in Africa, in connection with their equity investment in a 24.76 percent stake in I&M Bank (Rwanda). The landmark deal in Rwanda involved coordinating and conducting the due diligence exercise on the bank through the ALN alliance, drafting and negotiating the transaction documents and aligning all documentation with the exits of DEG and Proparco as well as overseeing the stockbroker and assisting the client with the completion process.
“Rwanda has very little regulation in this area and the deal was an eye-opener for the capital markets authority and the stock exchange,” notes A&K Partner Dominic Rebelo who led the advisory team. “The target, being a listed financial service provider, is heavily regulated so we had to assess the relevant approval mechanisms required to complete this deal. Negotiations were tough given the counterparties included two DFIs – DEG and Proparco”.
The IFLR awards exclusively focus on exceptional transactions from within the legal community that break ground with new legal structures, set market precedents by overcoming new regulatory hurdles or have become regional firsts for adapting existing technology to local regulation.
A&K celebrates these great achievements as an affirmation of its commitment towards providing excellent legal services to our clients – locally and across the continent.
Click here for more information on the awards.