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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

South Africa and Southern Africa

Our Southern Africa practice provides legal advice across Angola, Botswana, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Our dedicated Southern Africa group includes lawyers from across the Clifford Chance network who speak English, Portuguese and Afrikaans. They work together to:

  • provide seasoned international advice locally. Our global experience allows us to bring sophisticated advice in a local context. Current examples include:
    • gas-to-power programme in South Africa: we have brought together from across our international network a team of Clifford Chance specialists with deep sector expertise, who have been following closely the market developments and who, working alongside South African law firms, can effectively advise market participants on difficult legal issues and provide practical solutions in a cost effective manner.
    • major restructuring in South Africa: we were able to bring our international expertise in the context of the restructuring of Edcon, a highly complex capital structure, including addressing issues around five tranches of high yield notes (EUR, ZAR and USD denominated) in South Africa.
  • get the deal through. Our experts understand the local environment and put our proven methodology to use when it comes to dealing with the governments and the relevant regulatory bodies to get the deal through.
  • advice on both inbound and outbound work. We boast strong relationships with many of the leading banks and corporate institutions in the region, advising on both inbound and outbound work. For instance, we have advised South African banks (Rand Merchant Bank, Barclays/Absa, Standard Bank) on various financings and project financings in Nigeria (Azura Edo IPP), Ghana (Amandi IPP, Cenpower, Bole PV project), Central African Republic (Passendro Gold project), Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia.

Our long experience in South Africa and the rest of the region covers a variety of industries (banking, energy and natural resources, infrastructure, private equity, telecommunications) and a full range of legal services (from project finance to capital markets, lending, private equity and corporate/M&A, dispute resolution).

Working with the top law firms in the region

We maintain close relationships with the top law firms in the region and we liaise regularly with them, both during and outside transactions. Our team spends time with them to know them and therefore are able to provide a seamless service in a cost effective way when working together on a transaction.

We have already delivered several Clifford Chance Africa Academy training sessions in the region sharing insights and discussing best practice with regional lawyers.

Recent highlights

Publications

Awards and Milestones

  • African Renewables Portfolio Deal of the Year 2020 - Financing of 7 Solar Projects, Angola - IJ Global Awards

Recent assignments

  • South Africa - Advising DP World on its proposed acquisition of Imperial Logistics
  • South Africa - Advising the Development Bank of Southern Africa on the issue of its first green bonds for an amount of €200m
  • South Africa – Advising the RCF lenders in connection with the restructuring of EdCon's highly complex capital structure, including addressing issues around five tranches of high yield notes (EUR, RAND and USD denominated) in South Africa
  • South Africa – Advising the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on its purchase of Tyme Investments, a leading South Africa mobile payments provider, and associated intellectual property, in connection with the establishment of a global digital retail banking platform
  • South Africa – Advising on Redstone CSP Project and has advised sponsors and lenders on a large number of REIPPP projects
  • Angola - Advising ING Bank and DBSA on the financing of a portfolio of seven solar farms in Angola with a combined capacity of 370MW
  • Angola – Advising the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Angola on a ECICSA-backed export credit facility agreement for construction, rehabilitation and equipping costs of the Gove hydropower plant project
  • Angola – Advising the arranger on a USD$600 million buyer credit agreement with the Ministry of Finance (Angola)
  • Angola – Advising a developer in relation to an on-going major infrastructure and asset finance project
  • Botswana – Advising on the USD$825 million financing for the construction of the 4x150MW Morupule B coal-fired power plant in Botswana
  • Botswana / South Africa – Advising CIC Energy Corporation, the sponsor to the Mmamabula Energy Project. This involves a long-term power purchase agreement with Eskom. We continued to advise the borrowers on phase 1 of the 3 x 1200MW Mmamabula power station and coal-mine project in Botswana. The venture is the largest-ever energy project in the sub-Saharan region
  • Mozambique – Advising State Bank of India on the USD$800m financing of Indian state-owned oil company Bharat Petroleum’s share of exploration costs in respect of its 10% participating interest in the Rovuma Basin
  • Mozambique – Advising Proparco and Agence Française de Développement on the financing for the development, design, construction and operation of a US$40million 41 MWp greenfield solar PV project in Metoro, in the province of Cabo Delgado. This project is reported to be one of the first solar IPPs in Mozambique to reach a close.
  • Namibia – Advice in connection with the financing of the construction and operation of a cement plant in Otavi
  • Namibia – Advising on the issue of USD$500 million 5.5 per cent. Notes due in 2021, the first Eurobond issued out of Namibia.
  • Zambia – Advising the managers on the 2012 issue of USD$750 million 5.375 per cent. Notes due 2022, the first Eurobond issued out of Zambia and the subsequent issue of USD1bn 8.500 per cent. Notes due 2024.
  • Zimbabwe – Advising African Export Import Bank in connection with several loans made to local banks
  • Zimbabwe – Advising on the acquisition of a mobile network operator

Directory and client comments

  • An international team makes up the Lusophone Africa group at Clifford Chance LLP, which has a 'vast body of previous transactions to inform advice provided to clients'. Acting on inbound deals for a variety of clients, the group has recently had a particular focus on the renewable energy sector. Jeremy Connick in the firm's London office is the key contact; he specialises in advising sponsors and lenders on energy, natural resources and infrastructure transactions. Senior associate Jan Burger in Paris is also regularly involved in deals involving Mozambique.
    Mozambique and Angola (Foreign Firms) – Legal 500 2021
  • Robust team that is best known for its strength in the finance space, where it routinely acts for large financial institutions. Assists clients with credit facility agreements, debt negotiation and project finance matters. Offers further capacity to handle dispute resolution. Capably handles matters arising in Angola from its London and Paris offices. An interviewee said: "They have a lot of experience in transactions with Angolan counterparts and very good knowledge of Angolan law and practices."
    General Business Law – Angola (Expertise Based Abroad) – Chambers Global 2021
  • English practice group maintaining a significant track record for advising foreign companies on high-profile banking and finance mandates in Mozambique; its work roster comprises oil and gas, infrastructure and energy matters. The firm also acts as counsel to lenders on financing transactions. Its clients include players from the banking, infrastructure and automotive industries. An impressed client said: "Clifford Chance has significant expertise in project finance. Their attention to detail as well as their pragmatic approach have been remarkable."
    General Business Law – Mozambique (Expertise Based Abroad) – Chambers Global 2021
  • Clifford Chance stands out for its expertise in solar power projects, and also has a solid track record in a range of other energy and infrastructure projects. The firm is also renowned for its banking and finance practice, and counts local and international banks and financial services companies among its clients. Pieter Van Welzen in Amsterdam and senior associate André de Sousa Vieira in London are the key contacts.
    Angola (Foreign firms) – Legal 500 2020
  • "The 'proactive' Lusophone team at Clifford Chance LLP 'has significant experience in international transactions'. The team is particularly renowned in energy and power projects."
    Mozambique (Foreign firms) – Legal 500 2020
  • "The respected team has established itself in the local market with its significant capabilities advising international companies on high-level project finance, oil and gas and energy matters."
    General Business Law – Mozambique (Expertise Based Abroad) – Chambers Global 2020
  • This London-headquartered firm is noted for assisting multinational companies with sophisticated project financing matters. Clients are pleased with the team, describing the firm's main strengths as "the high level of the lawyers, and their strategic vision oriented to results and practicality."
    General Business Law – Angola (Expertise Based Abroad) – Chambers Global 2020

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