Webber Wentzel & Linklaters Advise Absa Group With Proposed Strategic Union Of Barclays' African Operations With Absa

December 21, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Premier South African law firm, Webber Wentzel, collaborates with global law firm, Linklaters

Johannesburg, South Africa - Webber Wentzel and Linklaters have advised Absa on the proposed combination of the majority of Barclays' African operations with Absa Group in line with their "One Bank in Africa" strategy.

This is the first deal Webber Wentzel and Linklaters have announced they have acted together on since signing their collaborative alliance in December 2012.

The scope of the transaction includes Barclays' interests in:

  • Botswana,
  • Ghana,
  • Kenya,
  • Mauritius,
  • Seychelles,
  • Tanzania,
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • as well as the Barclays Africa Regional Office in South Africa.

  • Under the proposed transaction Absa Group will acquire 100% of Barclays Africa Limited, the holding company of the Barclays African portfolio, for a consideration of 129,540,636 Absa Group ordinary shares, representing a value of ZAR18,3 billion. As a result, Barclays' stake in Absa Group will increase from
    55.5 % to 62.3 %.

    As part of the transaction Absa Group will be renamed "Barclays Africa Group Limited" to reflect its greater portfolio of African business. It is Barclays' intention that Barclays Africa Group Limited will be the platform for the management and growth of its business in Africa going forward. The transaction is expected to complete in the first half of 2013, subject to fulfilment of the conditions precedent including Absa Group shareholder approval.

    Webber Wentzel and Linklaters also acted together on the original investment by Barclays in Absa in 2005.

    Webber Wentzel's merger and acquisitions team was led by partner Sarah Adcock, who said: "This important deal is a timely example of the work that Webber Wentzel and Linklaters have already been successfully collaborating on for clients even before our alliance which was announced earlier this week. Our complementary teams offer clients an enhanced market-leading experience to help navigate their key Africa business challenges."

    Linklaters' team was led by corporate partner Charlie Jacobs, who said: "We look forward to closing out this deal and working on many other deals together. This is further evidence of both firms working together on high profile deals in the financial institutions sector. We acted jointly for ICBC when it acquired its 20% stake in Standard Bank."

    About Webber Wentzel
    Webber Wentzel is one of the leading corporate law firms in Africa. The firm far outstrips the local competition being consistently ranked at the top by a diversity of international ratings agencies and has achieved a number of legal accolades in 2012.

    From offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the firm provides high-quality legal services to meet the multiple and varying needs of a powerful client base that includes many of South Africa's Top 100 companies in mining, insurance, technology, media and telecommunications and intellectual property and property.

    Webber Wentzel is a full service corporate law firm offering expertise in legal areas including Dispute Resolution , Banking and Finance , Mergers & Acquisitions, Tax and Project Finance.

    Webber Wentzel has a staff complement of 750 people and a Level Four B-BBEE rating. Its 21 practice groups cover virtually the entire spectrum of legal endeavour.

    Work on the African continent represents a growing area of Webber Wentzel's business and the firm is associated with ALN, an established group of Africa's 12 foremost law firms.

    For more information visit www.webberwentzel.com. Follow Webber Wentzel on Twitter: @WebberWentzel.