Baker McKenzie’s Africa team wins Banking and Finance Legal Advisor of the Year and Best pan-African Law Firm

Global law firm Baker McKenzie has received GFC Media’s Bonds, Loans & ESG Capital Markets Africa Banking & Finance Legal Adviser of the Year award for 2023. The firm also advised on four Deal of the Year transactions, showcasing the firm’s impressive multi-jurisdictional client mandates in Africa.

The firm advised on the following Deal of the Year winners:

The Local Currency Sovereign, Supra & Agency Bond Deal of the Year – awarded to the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) for its ZAR 3 billion senior unsecured green bond private placement to PIMCO. Baker McKenzie advised Standard Chartered Bank as structuring advisor and placement agent on this transaction. DBSA is a leading development finance institution with the mandate to promote economic growth as well as regional integration for sustainable development projects and programmes in South Africa, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the Southern African Development Community.

The Project Loan Deal of the Year – awarded to the Canal Sugar’s USD 700 million multi-tranche syndicated project financing of a large-scale agricultural farm located at Minya, Egypt. Baker McKenzie’s cross-border team in Cairo and Dubai acted as Egyptian, English and UAE law counsels to the lenders. The syndication was led by National Bank of Egypt and included Qatar National Bank Al Ahli, African Export-Import Bank, Banque du Caire, Suez Canal Bank, the United Bank, Arab Investment Bank, Agricultural Bank of Egypt, Industrial Development Bank and Housing & Development Bank. The project, when fully operative, will be the largest beet sugar factory in the world and will enable Egypt to become a sugar exporting country. The facilities will be used partly to finance the ongoing investment costs in respect of Canal Sugar’s industrial and agricultural beet sugar complex and partly to refinance bridge facilities extended to Canal Sugar in 2019. The total investment cost of the project is approximately USD 1 billion.

The Export Finance Deal of the Year and the Power Finance Deal of the Year went to Project Gleam, the EUR 1.29bn dual-tranche EUR 1.2bn Euler Hermes-supported secured term loan facility and EUR 92m commercial term loan facility to support the Angola Rural Electrification Project. The loan will be used for the development of a complete solution for sustainable electrification of 60 communities in five provinces in Angola (Bié, Luanda-Norte, Lunda-Sul, Malanje and Moxico) by means of hybrid photovoltaic generation systems with lithium-ion batteries storage system (48 communities) and the expansion of the electrical grid with new distribution grids (12 communities), to reduce poverty by increasing basic social services. Baker McKenzie acted as counsel to the global coordinator and multiple lead arrangers.

Earlier in 2023, the firm was also named EMEA Finance’s African Banking Awards – Best pan-African Law Firm 2022.

“It always feels good to be acknowledged by these prestigious awards, as well as to celebrate the recognition given to our valued clients through their numerous Deal of the Year wins. These awards reveal the extent of our expertise and reach across the continent. A large contributor to our success is our ‘One Firm’ approach to supporting our clients’ businesses. Our Global Africa Team operates seamlessly across borders in developed and high-growth markets in Africa. In addition to 100 lawyers based in our three African offices (Johannesburg, Cairo and Casablanca), clients are supported by more than 200 Africa specialists from our 74 offices, and by our trusted relationships with legal experts from 100 African Relationship Firms in 51 jurisdictions in Africa,” said Michael Foundethakis, Partner and Chair of the Africa Steering Committee at Baker McKenzie.

“We are delighted to have been recognised by GFC Media’s Bonds, Loans & ESG Capital Markets Africa awards and by EMEA Finance’s African Banking Awards. Our Africa-focused Banking and Finance practice is considered to be a key market player in the region and these awards highlight the team’s excellent work on our clients’ big ticket, multijurisdictional transactions across the continent,” added Luka Lightfoot, Partner in the Banking & Finance Practice, Baker McKenzie, London.