Baker McKenzie’s Africa-focused Banking & Finance team advised on one of Global Trade Review’s (GTR) Best Deals 2022 . The team advised Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited and certain of its subsidiaries (Aspen Group) on this winning deal, which comprised a joint financing package for the amount of €600 million (around ZAR 10 billion) that was finalised by the IFC, the French Development institution PROPARCO, the German development finance institution DEG and the United States (US) international Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The transaction was finalised in 2021.
Baker McKenzie’s Financial Institutions team in South Africa, led by Partner and Head of Banking & Finance in Johannesburg, Lodewyk Meyer, advised the Aspen Group in relation to a common terms agreement, a term loan facility with each lender and a group guarantee. The transaction was cross-border in nature, involving Aspen Group entities in South Africa, Mauritius and Australia, and development finance institutions from France, Germany and the US.
“The financing package for the Aspen Group came as governments across the region called on the international community to assist in bolstering the continent’s vaccine supply chain. IFC has previously noted that this transaction was the largest investment and mobilisation in the healthcare sector the organisation has led globally to date. The South African-headquartered pharmaceutical company is playing a leading role in producing COVID-19 vaccine treatments and therapies for use across Africa,” said Baker McKenzie Partner and African Steering Committee Chair, Michael Foundethakis.
Meyer noted that the Aspen Group has significantly contributed to the objective of formulating and filling a material quantity of Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination needs from its production site located in Gqeberha, South Africa.
“We are proud to have advised the Aspen Group on this significant transaction in the healthcare and life sciences sector, and honoured that it has been recognised by GTR Africa,” Meyer added.
The firm’s Africa Banking & Finance practice has achieved significant growth over the past 12 months, and is considered to be a key market player with an ongoing upward trajectory. The Firm’s impressive geographic coverage in Africa includes more than 100 lawyers based in its three African offices, over 200 Africa specialists across its 76 offices, and a network of 100 African relationship firms in 51 African jurisdictions in Africa. The Firm’s cross-sector expertise and global One Team approach has led to the significant growth of its client base in the key strategic markets of the Maghreb, non-Francophone North Africa, Francophone West Africa, Anglophone West Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa and Lusophone Africa.
Reaffirming its reputation as a transactional powerhouse in Africa, Baker McKenzie’s Africa-focused Banking & Finance team also recently took home GFC Media Group’s Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Africa Award for Banking & Finance Legal Adviser of the Year 2021, as well as EMEA Finance African Banking Awards Best Law Firm in Africa Award for 2021.