Africa

 

Profile

Simmons & Simmons has been operating in Africa for over 20 years.

We advise on a huge variety of projects, including mining and natural resources; energy and infrastructure projects; telecoms and corporate deals; as well as finance and project finance transactions and disputes.

Our Africa practice spans our entire network across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. A core of experienced lawyers working from many of our international offices allows coverage of Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone countries across the continent, meaning that language barriers are overcome with ease.

We have an alliance for Africa work with international firm Fasken Martineau, which has an office in Johannesburg. This collaboration enhances the strength of our two firms’ international offerings and provides clients with immediate access to leading Africa practices with recognised expertise across multiple sectors including Energy & Infrastructure and natural resources.

Recently, we have signed non-exclusive alliance agreements with Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) in Uganda, KSK Société d’Avocats (KSK) in Côte d’Ivoire, and also have associations in Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome & Principe*. This gives us a footprint in eight jurisdictions in Africa and a strong boost to our offering on the continent.

The strength of our African practice is shown by the fact we regularly advise some of Africa’s largest companies both for their investments and operations in Africa and off-shore. Our experience allows us to offer our clients an in-depth understanding of local and regional issues and to help them overcome specific jurisdictional challenges.

 

Download our Africa brochure

*For further information about our alliances in Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome & Principe, please contact one of our key contacts listed or Isabella Roberts.

Experience

 Our African experience includes the following practice areas:

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Banking

  • as transaction counsel to Barclays Africa and the other Mandated Lead Arrangers in respect of the project financing of the 140MW Khobab, 140MW Loeriesfontein 2 and 80MW Noupoort wind farms in connection with the third round of South Africa’s IPP renewable energy programme
  • J&E Davy as the placing agent in relation to the issuance of US$30m 10.0 per cent. callable bonds by ADV Holding Ltd (a subsidiary of Angola International Capital Ltd)
  • The Government of Kenya, via FSD Africa on the development of the financial regulatory and legal framework required for the growth of the Islamic finance industry in Kenya
  • Barclays Capital and Absa on its award winning umbrella structured export credit facility for Transnet’s capital expenditure programme, export credit financing for Telkom of South Africa and the OeKB supported loan to the South African National Roads Agency
  • a leading South African bank on a structured ECIC backed facility for an Angolan borrower
  • Standard Chartered Bank on a facility for a Tanzania corporate
  • acting for an international bank on various financings of Nigerian financial institutions
  • CIAF Leasing on the financing and leasing arrangements for financing 9 new aircraft, including a Boeing 737-800
  • the commercial lenders in relation to a US$142 syndicated loan to a refinery and on the financing of a shipping line in Senegal.

Corporate Transactions
  • Mainstream on its joint venture in Africa with pan-emerging markets investor Actis (including on the sale into the joint venture of various projects and on development arrangements)
  • CDC Group plc on the sale of shares in a Ghanaian company to Société Générale
  • one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies on the restructuring of its Algerian operations undertaken in joint-venture with an Algerian partner
  • AES on its corporate affairs in Cameroon and on a potential joint venture in the Ivory Coast
  • Sitel on corporate and commercial transactions in Morocco.
Funds Transactions
  • Resource Capital Funds (“RCF”).on the equity and debt investment into a major bulk commodity mining project in West Africa
  • FISEA (Investment and Support Fund for Business in Africa), an investment fund specialising in equity investments in businesses, banks, microfinance institutions and investment funds operating in Sub-Saharan Africa in relation to its EUR 3 million equity investment in the Chain Hotel Conakry, owner of the Noom Hotel in Conakry, by the luxury hotel group Mangalis.
Dispute Resolution
  • Kaupthing hf in relation to the Commercial Court proceedings relating to a multi-currency debt of over £300m
  • Nomihold Securities Inc on the worldwide enforcement strategy of a US$210m arbitral award
  • Chemical Initiatives (Pty) Limited to pursue a claim against an organisation for non-payment of invoices raised following the import via South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania and delivery of sulphur to the organisation in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • an energy company on corruption issues arising in the course of a corporate transaction in West Africa
  • a global telecoms group on international arbitration proceedings against a Nigerian telecoms company in relation to ca. $10m dispute over the provision of ICT services in Nigeria
  • a major mining company and equity shareholders on their landmark arbitrations against the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • directing worldwide enforcement proceedings including in the Nigerian High Court and Court of Appeal against oil field interests (Masri v Consolidated Contractors).
Infrastructure
  • South Africa Railways on the Government proposals and Transnet on the incorporation and restructuring of the various Spoornet business divisions
  • on railway and port infrastructure development in Guinea and Cameroon
  • on the financing and modernisation of airports in the DRC
  • government of Kenya on their USD600m syndicated loan which was extended to USD750m ‎ intended for investment in infrastructure.
Mining and Natural Resources
  • First Quantum Minerals on mining projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritania and West Africa, including renegotiation of mining contracts led by the DRC government and international arbitrations  
  • Areva on several corporate transactions related to the Imouraren uranium mine in Niger, Africa’s largest uranium mine
  • the sponsors on the development of a bauxite mine and alumina refinery in Guinea, including port and rail infrastructure
  • a sponsor on the $2.1bn Ambatovy project in Madagascar, one of the largest nickel and cobalt-mining and processing ventures in the world with an integrated mine and power plant
  • Armada Exploration Limited, a privately wned mineral exploration company, in relation to the development of copper, zinc and cobalt projects in Gabon
  • Nord Gold in relation a mining convention to be entered into with the Government of Guinea
  • Quantic Resources on the restructuring of a gold mining project in Guinea.
Oil and Gas
  • as lenders’ counsel in connection with the project financing of a bulk liquids terminal for the import and storage of gasoil, LPG and LNG at Sokhna Port, Egypt
  • advised Egyptian LNG since 2001 on all aspects of its project development and financing. Egyptian LNG continues to be Egypt’s largest ever project financing.
Power
  • EBRD, AFD and KfW for the implementation of the Morocco Sustainable Energy Finance Facility (MorSEFF) with Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur (BMCE) and Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) for the financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy investments of private entities in Morocco
  • Black & Veatch in relation to its shareholding in the first IWPP in Algeria and the operation of the project, including advice on Algerian corporate and foreign exchange laws
  • Absa Capital and Barclays on the first African financings for Mainstream Renewable Power of 138MW of wind energy and two 50MW of Solar PV projects under the first round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Procurement Programme
  • Vestas on a 150 MW wind farm project in Senegal in relation to various regulatory matters and to the incorporation of a local subsidiary
  • AES on the Dibamba and Kribi IPPs in Cameroon, which were the first two IPPs in Cameroon to reach financial close
  • the commercial banks on wind and solar power projects under the South African Renewables IPP Programme
  • on a concentrated solar project in Morocco as well as a number of other thermal and renewable power projects in Morocco and Algeria
  • a project sponsor on the US$ 5.2bn Mmamabula coal to power project in Botswana
  • the South Africa Government on the procurement of 2 peaking power plants
  • The Government of Swaziland on the Lower Maguduza Hydro power project.
Telecoms
  • Etisalat in connection with the disposal of its 92% stake in its subsidiary Canar, a Sudanese telecommunications operator in Sudan
  • MTN Group on the US$284m sale and leaseback of mobile network towers by its subsidiaries, MTN Côte d’Ivoire and MTN Cameroon
  • AES Sonel on its proposed sale and leaseback of a fibreoptic network in an African market
  • MTN Group on the high profile suspension and subsequent successful restoration of its telecoms licence in Benin
  • MTN Group on telecoms regulatory issues in Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, the Republic of Guinea and the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)
  • the Zambia Development Agency on the privatisation of Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel), the Zambian incumbent operator.
Expand all
Banking & Financial Markets
  • as transaction counsel to Barclays Africa and the other Mandated Lead Arrangers in respect of the project financing of the 140MW Khobab, 140MW Loeriesfontein 2 and 80MW Noupoort wind farms in connection with the third round of South Africa’s IPP renewable energy programme
  • J&E Davy as the placing agent in relation to the issuance of US$30m 10.0 per cent. callable bonds by ADV Holding Ltd (a subsidiary of Angola International Capital Ltd)
  • The Government of Kenya, via FSD Africa on the development of the financial regulatory and legal framework required for the growth of the Islamic finance industry in Kenya
  • Barclays Capital and Absa on its award winning umbrella structured export credit facility for Transnet’s capital expenditure programme, export credit financing for Telkom of South Africa and the OeKB supported loan to the South African National Roads Agency
  • a leading South African bank on a structured ECIC backed facility for an Angolan borrower
  • Standard Chartered Bank on a facility for a Tanzania corporate
  • acting for an international bank on various financings of Nigerian financial institutions
  • CIAF Leasing on the financing and leasing arrangements for financing 9 new aircraft, including a Boeing 737-800
    commercial lenders in relation to a US$142 syndicated loan to a refinery and on the financing of a shipping line in Senegal.
Corporate Transactions
  • Mainstream on its joint venture in Africa with pan-emerging markets investor Actis (including on the sale into the joint venture of various projects and on development arrangements)
  • CDC Group plc on the sale of shares in a Ghanaian company to Société Générale
  • one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies on the restructuring of its Algerian operations undertaken in joint-venture with an Algerian partner
  • AES on its corporate affairs in Cameroon and on a potential joint venture in the Ivory Coast
  • Sitel on corporate and commercial transactions in Morocco
  • Funds transactions
  • Resource Capital Funds (“RCF”).on the equity and debt investment into a major bulk commodity mining project in West Africa
  • FISEA (Investment and Support Fund for Business in Africa), an investment fund specialising in equity investments in businesses, banks, microfinance institutions and investment funds operating in Sub-Saharan Africa in relation to its EUR 3 million equity investment in the Chain Hotel Conakry, owner of the Noom Hotel in Conakry, by the luxury hotel group Mangalis.
Dispute Resolution
  • Kaupthing hf in relation to the Commercial Court proceedings relating to a multi-currency debt of over £300m
  • Nomihold Securities Inc on the worldwide enforcement strategy of a US$210m arbitral award
  • Chemical Initiatives (Pty) Limited to pursue a claim against an organisation for non-payment of invoices raised following the import via South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania and delivery of sulphur to the organisation in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • an energy company on corruption issues arising in the course of a corporate transaction in West Africa
  • a global telecoms group on international arbitration proceedings against a Nigerian telecoms company in relation to ca. $10m dispute over the provision of ICT services in Nigeria
  • a major mining company and equity shareholders on their landmark arbitrations against the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • directing worldwide enforcement proceedings including in the Nigerian High Court and Court of Appeal against oil field interests (Masri v Consolidated Contractors).
Infrastructure
  • South Africa Railways on the Government proposals and Transnet on the incorporation and restructuring of the various Spoornet business divisions
  • on railway and port infrastructure development in Guinea and Cameroon
  • on the financing and modernisation of airports in the DRC
  • gvernment of Kenya on their USD600m syndicated loan which was extended to USD750m ‎ intended for investment in infrastructure.
Mining & Natural Resources
  • First Quantum Minerals on mining projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritania and West Africa, including renegotiation of mining contracts led by the DRC government and international arbitrations  
  • Areva on several corporate transactions related to the Imouraren uranium mine in Niger, Africa’s largest uranium mine
  • the sponsors on the development of a bauxite mine and alumina refinery in Guinea, including port and rail infrastructure
  • a sponsor on the $2.1bn Ambatovy project in Madagascar, one of the largest nickel and cobalt-mining and processing ventures in the world with an integrated mine and power plant
  • Armada Exploration Limited, a privately wned mineral exploration company, in relation to the development of copper, zinc and cobalt projects in Gabon
  • Nord Gold in relation a mining convention to be entered into with the Government of Guinea
  • Quantic Resources on the restructuring of a gold mining project in Guinea.
Oil & Gas
  • as lenders’ counsel in connection with the project financing of a bulk liquids terminal for the import and storage of gasoil, LPG and LNG at Sokhna Port, Egypt
  • advised Egyptian LNG since 2001 on all aspects of its project development and financing. Egyptian LNG continues to be Egypt’s largest ever project financing.
Power
  • EBRD, AFD and KfW for the implementation of the Morocco Sustainable Energy Finance Facility (MorSEFF) with Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur (BMCE) and Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) for the financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy investments of private entities in Morocco
  • Black & Veatch in relation to its shareholding in the first IWPP in Algeria and the operation of the project, including advice on Algerian corporate and foreign exchange laws
  • Absa Capital and Barclays on the first African financings for Mainstream Renewable Power of 138MW of wind energy and two 50MW of Solar PV projects under the first round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Procurement Programme
  • Vestas on a 150 MW wind farm project in Senegal in relation to various regulatory matters and to the incorporation of a local subsidiary
  • AES on the Dibamba and Kribi IPPs in Cameroon, which were the first two IPPs in Cameroon to reach financial close
  • the commercial banks on wind and solar power projects under the South African Renewables IPP Programme
  • on a concentrated solar project in Morocco as well as a number of other thermal and renewable power projects in Morocco and Algeria
  • a project sponsor on the US$ 5.2bn Mmamabula coal to power project in Botswana
  • the South Africa Government on the procurement of 2 peaking power plants
  • The Government of Swaziland on the Lower Maguduza Hydro power project.
Telecoms
  • Etisalat in connection with the disposal of its 92% stake in its subsidiary Canar, a Sudanese telecommunications operator in Sudan
  • MTN Group on the US$284m sale and leaseback of mobile network towers by its subsidiaries, MTN Côte d’Ivoire and MTN Cameroon
  • AES Sonel on its proposed sale and leaseback of a fibreoptic network in an African market
  • MTN Group on the high profile suspension and subsequent successful restoration of its telecoms licence in Benin
  • MTN Group on telecoms regulatory issues in Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, the Republic of Guinea and the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)
  • the Zambia Development Agency on the privatisation of Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel), the Zambian incumbent operator.

Highlights

Examples of the publications and external recognition we have received for our work includes:

  • the firm was nominated for Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Team of the Year and Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team of the Year at Legal Week’s African Legal Awards 2015
  • Simmons & Simmons has partnered with Legal Business/Legal 500 on an exclusive series of Litigation Insight surveys in 2015. The second in the series, “Clause and Effect” is published in Legal Business July/August 2015 - exploring the correlation between increased foreign investment in Africa and the demand for dispute resolution.   Download the report 
  • a further roundtable took place asking general counsel their experiences of disputes on the continent and the overview of the discussion is available here
  • Acts on a range of cross-border transactions including project and acquisition financing as well as restructuring matters for clients in the energy, construction and banking sectors” Chambers Global 2016
  • Persistent and have really good in-depth knowledge of procedures in each of the different African countries”, Chambers Global 2016
  • winner of Best Wind Deal Middle East and Africa at the PFI Awards 2016 for advising the Mainstream consortium on the 360MW of wind projects for Round 3 of the South African Government’s highly successful Renewable Energy Procurement Programme.