Middle East

mid east

Clients across industries benefit from Ropes & Gray’s integrated global network, diverse practices and sophisticated knowledge to help them achieve their business objectives in the Middle East.

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Overview

Ropes & Gray attorneys from around the world work together, effectively and efficiently, to solve the legal issues faced by clients doing business in the Middle East. Our experience in the region is extensive and multifaceted, with attorneys advising on private equity transactions, financings, mergers and acquisitions, antitrust issues, anti-corruption and international risk matters, and investment fund formations and offerings in industries including energy and cleantech, health care, life sciences, manufacturing and real estate. Our clients doing business in the Middle East include multinational conglomerates, financial institutions, private equity firms, real estate investors, hedge funds and mutual funds, as well as their officers and directors.

Ropes & Gray counts several of the largest sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors in the world as clients, including funds based in the Middle East. For these funds and investors, we provide integrated legal advice across multiple disciplines on the many issues they face, including investment advisory mandates, derivatives, real estate, regulatory compliance, tax, sovereign immunity and litigation matters. We also regularly advise numerous global hedge funds on the formation and offering of fund products in the Middle East, providing advice on various aspects of their ongoing operations and investments in this region.

Ropes & Gray’s award-winning anti-corruption and international risk practice consists of former federal prosecutors and SEC enforcement attorneys who have extensive experience handling regulatory and enforcement initiatives in the Middle East and around the world. These attorneys work with clients engaging in global business transactions across industries to identify risks, develop and implement policies to ensure compliance and provide guidance on government investigations and enforcement actions. 

Experience

Our representative Middle East-related experience includes work in the following areas:

Anti-Corruption/International Risk | Antitrust Mergers & Acquisitions | Business Restructuring | Finance | Hedge Funds | Life Sciences | Mergers & Acquisitions/Private Equity | Private Investment Funds | Real Estate Investments & Transactions

Anti-Corruption/International Risk

  • Working with a global energy company to conduct an anti-corruption risk assessment/diagnostic in the Middle East, Africa and Asia to develop a best-in-class compliance program and develop interim risk-based protocols.
  • Developing and implementing anti-corruption policies, procedures, training and monitoring programs for a Middle East-based multinational oil and gas service company. In addition, our team conducts third-party diligence on potential consultants and business partners, assists with market entry into new regions, and develops business structure and operations.
  • Working with in-house counsel to conduct internal FCPA and anti-corruption compliance reviews in various countries where the company has operating subsidiaries. We have completed reviews in the Middle East, Asia, North Africa, South America and Eastern Europe. 
  • Acted as lead counsel for a large financial institution in an SEC and DOJ FCPA investigation involving conduct and transactions in the Middle East.
  • Directed FCPA reviews of commercial sales, marketing and distribution in UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Iran for Fortune 50 client.
  • Acted as lead counsel for international medical device company in responding to OFAC subpoena concerning sales to Iran and BIS voluntary disclosure.
  • Conducted Iran sanctions compliance assessment for a private equity firm.
  • Advised a major private equity firm’s special situations group in conducting anti-corruption due diligence on a UAE-headquartered, for-profit developer and operator of international private schools.
  • Conducting pre-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence for a major private equity firm related to a proposed acquisition of an education provider in the UAE.
  • Conducting pre-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence for a major private equity firm related to a proposed acquisition of Saudi quick service restaurant chain, a UAE district cooling utility, an oil services company in Iraq and a food service company in Kuwait.
  • Advising a major private equity firm to conduct anti-corruption due diligence for 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.  

Antitrust Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Prepared several hundred Hart-Scott-Rodino filings and routinely coordinate merger clearances in multiple jurisdictions, including Turkey.

Business Restructuring

  • Advised Sankaty Advisors and Golden Tree Asset Management in connection with their pending purchase of €110 million of senior secured notes as a portion of the exit financing for Almatis’ Dubai Capital Investment-sponsored emergence from bankruptcy.

Finance

  • Acting for a subsidiary of the investment arm of a Middle Eastern sovereign entity in connection with a $5 billion revolving margin facility.
  • Advising PICO International Petroleum, an Egyptian company, in connection with its $300 million reserve-based credit facility.

Hedge Funds

  • Representing a large private equity firm and its credit investment group, with several billion dollars in commitments across a diverse range of credit strategies, in the formation of a closed-end, single-investor fund for a large sovereign wealth fund based in the Middle East.

Life Sciences

  • Represented Covidien plc in the $314 million acquisition of superDimension, Ltd., a developer of catheter based devices for use in the diagnosis and treatment of early stage lung cancer and other diseases, from a group of sellers that included Middle East-based Concord Ventures, Gemini Israel Funds, Medica Venture Partners and Pitango Venture Capital.

Mergers & Acquisitions/Private Equity

  • Represented XOJET, Inc., a TPG Capital, L.P. portfolio company, in its joint venture with Tasameem Real Estate Company, LLC, a major investment firm out of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, contributing to the company’s major international initiative focused on serving the growing demand for private air travel in the Middle East.
  • Represented Berkshire Partners LLC in its $447 million acquisition of The William Carter Company, an operator of children clothing stores in the United States, from Investcorp Bank B.S.C., an investment holding company based in Bahrain.
  • Represented selling stockholders in the sale of Applied Extrusion Technologies, Inc. to Taghleef Industries, a Dubai-headquartered buyer.
  • Represented a leading global logistics firm based in Kuwait in its acquisition of an arms repair and procurement company in 2006.
  • Represented BTU Ventures, with offices in the U.S. and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in the development, equity investment and asset management of energy and energy-related industries in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia, with more than $450 million of committed capital already invested in power generation and water projects.
  • Assisted Actis on its minority investment in Egyptian snack food company Edita.

Private Investment Funds

  • Acting for the Kuwait Investment Office on investments into various private equity funds. 

Real Estate Investments & Transactions

  • Represented Saudi Arabian investor and prominent businessman on the acquisition of a prime residential asset bordering on St James’s Park, London SW1, by way of the acquisition of its Jersey incorporated SPV owner.
  • Represented a global business communications corporation in the acquisition of an enterprise communications solutions business. The acquisition involved the transfer of numerous facilities (both owned and leased) in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the United States.