Africa

africa
Familiarity with the complex business and regulatory landscape spanning the African continent gives Ropes & Gray attorneys an edge when representing clients in these countries. 

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Overview

As a continent of emerging markets, Africa poses unique challenges and exciting possibilities for clients seeking to invest and conduct business. Ropes & Gray attorneys are poised to address these issues head-on, utilizing a global network of practice groups working together to solve even the most complex business problems.

Attorneys in Ropes & Gray’s leading anti-corruption practice work with clients in Africa to identify risks, ensure compliance and provide guidance on government investigations. These former federal prosecutors and SEC enforcement attorneys have extensive experience handling regulatory and enforcement initiatives in Africa, including risk assessments and pre-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence, for more than 100 private equity portfolio companies worldwide. Our on-the-ground experience working with clients in Africa on anti-corruption issues gives our attorneys a deep familiarity with and practical understanding of the local markets and the daily challenges faced by our clients.  

The firm also advises large investors and funds in Africa. We work with institutional investment clients to identify, consider and mitigate risk in a manner consistent with their typically superior credit standings, including identification of tax issues. We regularly advise multinational companies on matters ranging from business restructuring and health care to real estate investments and intellectual property rights management.

Experience

Our representative experience in Africa includes work in the following areas:

Anti-Corruption/International Risk | Antitrust Litigation | Antitrust Mergers & Acquisitions | Business Restructuring | Finance | Health Care | Hedge Funds | IP Rights Management | Mergers & Acquisitions/Private Equity| Private Investment Funds | Real Estate Investments & TransactionsTax

Anti-Corruption/International Risk

  • Conducting a third-party diligence on potential consultants and business partners for a multinational oil and gas service company, as well as assisting with market entry into new regions and developing business structure and operations.
  • Acting on behalf of a major oil and gas services corporation before the DOJ as a result of a deferred prosecution agreement entered into at the conclusion of a three-year, industry-wide FCPA investigation focusing on the freight forwarding industry in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Representing a multibillion-dollar publicly traded asset management firm in the recent SEC and DOJ investigation into potential FCPA violations involving U.S. financial institutions’ interactions with the Libyan Investment Authority and other Libyan entities.
  • Advising a major private equity firm’s energy fund to conduct pre-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence related to a proposed formation of a power platform to develop in Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius and Ethiopia.
  • Advising a major private equity firm to conduct  pre-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence related to:

    • Proposed real estate acquisition in Côte d’Ivoire;
    • Proposed acquisition of a Madagascar telecommunications provider;
    • Proposed acquisition of a Moroccan transportation company;
    • Proposed acquisition of a flower grower and distributor in Ethiopia; and
    • Proposed acquisition of a Kenyan telecommunications company.
  • Advised a major Mediterranean shipping line on anti-corruption risk in relation to a proposed expansion of its shipping operations to Tunisia and Libya.
  • Advising a major private equity firm to conduct anti-corruption due diligence into a proposed investment in a major fashion and lifestyle retail company looking to expand into Lebanon, UAE, Qatar, Cyprus, Ghana, Angola, Oman, Iraq, Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, KSA and Kuwait.
  • Conducted in-country anti-corruption compliance review for a global pharmaceutical company in Tunisia. 
  • Handled on-the-ground anti-corruption investigations, both internal and in response to DOJ and SEC investigations, in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Egypt for multiple energy companies. 

Antitrust Litigation

  • Acted as lead counsel for Sun International, a South African hotel and casino operator, in a dispute concerning competitive restraints outside of Africa.

Antitrust Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Prepared several hundred Hart-Scott-Rodino filings and routinely coordinate merger clearances in South Africa and around the world.
  • Handled notifications in the U.S., South Africa and the EU for a $471 million takeover bid for Japanese public company.

Business Restructuring

  • Acting for the junior creditors of Peermont Group, a South African leisure business, in connection with its financial restructuring.
  • Acted for IFC in obtaining and upholding a default judgment against Utexafrica SPRL, a Congolese (DRC) company.

Finance

  • Acted for The Nature Conservancy in connection with the restructuring of debt owed by the government of Seychelles to bilateral creditors and advising on debt for nature and climate adaptation swaps.

Health Care

  • Attorney served as first executive director of Harvard’s extensive PEFPAR-funded AIDS treatment programs in Nigeria, Tanzania and Botswana. 

Hedge Funds

  • Serving as fund counsel for a hedge fund managed by an investment manager focused exclusively on frontier and emerging markets and on investments in businesses operating in sub-Saharan Africa. Our representation involved advising on the launch of the fund and counseling them on issues relating to making investments in African public securities.

IP Rights Management

  • Represented a pharmaceutical company conducting freedom to operate studies on at least 100 drug products to be marketed in emerging markets including South Africa. We considered patent assessments and any available regulatory exclusivities to determine the extent and duration of patent and regulatory coverage. 

 Mergers & Acquisitions/Private Equity

  • Represented a global private equity firm in the disposal of its controlling stake in an African regional bank. 

Private Investment Funds

  • Represented a South African private equity fund borrowing from Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Real Estate Investments & Transactions

  • Represented a global business communications corporation in the acquisition of an enterprise solutions business. The acquisition involved the transfer of numerous facilities (both owned and leased) in Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Australia and the U.S.

Tax

  • Advising fund clients on taxation issues related to U.S. outbound investments, including those into Mauritius.