Mega deals earn Kenyan law firms billions and top listing


Legal fees typically range from 0.1 per cent to 0.5 per cent of deal value. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Legal fees typically range from 0.1 per cent to 0.5 per cent of deal value. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenyan law firms earned millions of shillings from a busy deals pipeline in the past two years, latest industry reports show.

The deals came in the form of mergers and acquisitions, debt and capital raising as well as corporate restructuring.

Legal fees typically range from 0.1 per cent to 0.5 per cent of deal value, according to an earlier Business Daily research based on regulatory filings.  

London-based consultancy Chambers & Partners says Nairobi-based commercial law firm Anjarwalla & Khanna ranked top among the hotshot firms for its handling of some of the largest deals, including UK based fund CDC Group’s Sh14 billion investment in ARM Cement #ticker:ARM.

The 2016 deal gave CDC a 42 per cent stake in the Kenyan cement firm.

Anjarwalla & Khanna also acted for New York-based equity fund Kuramo Capital on its $40 million (Sh4 billion) investment in TransCentury #ticker:TCL through the acquisition of 24.99 per cent in the investment firm.

Bowmans (Coulson Harney) acted for global paint manufacturer Kansai Plascon during its multi-jurisdictional acquisition of Sadolin Paints valued at over Sh10 billion giving it a place of pride in the yearly listing of law firms.

The company also handled  Kenya Airways’ #ticker:KQ $2.2 billion (Sh222.9 billion) debt and equity restructuring, keeping its deals pipeline fertile.

Kaplan & Stratton, another Nairobi law firm, also made it to the coveted Chambers list for its 2016 role in South African firm Pioneer Food Group’s acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in the East African business of UK breakfast cereal group Weetabix.

The law firm also helped KenolKobil #ticker:KENO reorganise its operation – a move that allowed the firm to acquire assets previously owned by its subsidiary Kobil Petroleum.

Hamilton Harrison & Mathews acted for Africa Logistics Properties on a $60 million (Sh6 billion) equity capital raise that earned it recognition in the listing of top law firms.

Nairobi-based Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates kept its presence on the list for its role in chaperoning the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) $35 million (Sh3.5 billion) investment in Britam Holdings #ticker:BRIT.

The firm also acted for KCB Group #ticker:KCB on a proposed Sh10 billion rights issue that was, however, indefinitely postponed.

Also in the list are Daly & Inamdar, the law firm that acted for Sadolin Paints on the multi-billion shilling sale of the company to Kansai Plascon at a price of more than $100 million (Sh10.1 billion).

Mboya Wangong’u & Waiyaki Advocates advised ABSA Barclays on the establishment of Kenya’s first ETF, and the secondary listing of gold bullion debentures on the NSE.

The law firm also acted for Fusion Capital on the $80 million (Sh8.1 billion) establishment and listing of a real estate development and construction investment trust.

MMAN Advocates provided competition advice to petroleum distribution company Buckeye Partners in relation to its acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in VIP Terminal Holding, for a sum in excess of $1 billion (Sh101 billion).

The firm also advised TransCentury, as a shareholder in Development Bank of Kenya, on the latter’s $3.2 million (Sh324.2 million) rights issuance and private placement.

Walker Kontos acted for KenGen on a rights issuance and the subsequent subscription of untaken shares. It also represented Fidelity Commercial Bank in the acquisition of its entire share capital by Mauritian lender SBM Africa Holdings.

Kenya has continued to cement its reputation as a hotspot for private equity (PE) firms in Africa with global dealmakers trooping to Nairobi to seal key deals, attracted by expected returns and an improved business environment.

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