Overview

Mayer Brown offers practical experience, technical skills and commercial knowledge of the African market and we understand the challenges and rewards that exist in African jurisdictions. The African continent provides a wealth of opportunities both to clients seeking to expand their operations and to new entrants to these countries.

Our Africa group supports clients with an interest in African jurisdictions and has proven experience in addressing and resolving issues as they arise. We have a comprehensive track record in African common and civil law jurisdictions, complemented by unrivalled strength in capital markets and international trade, project finance, with particular strength in the following industries: mining, energy - oil and gas, infrastructure, agribusiness and heavy industry.

Our association with Tauil & Chequer Advogados (T&C), a Brazilian law firm with offices in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Vitória, substantially increases the resources available to clients in relation to investments in Africa, notably Angola and Mozambique, where many of T&C’s clients are active.

We are able to support clients in all aspects of their projects and operations in Africa, offering:

  • A dedicated, internationally qualified team with experience of working on a range of matters in Francophone, Anglophone, Lusophone and other jurisdictions;
  • The firm’s fully integrated skills in key areas such as project finance, international arbitration, international banking, mining, oil and gas, telecoms, infrastructure, among others;
  • Comprehensive experience in pre-privatization sector reviews and feasibility studies, together with Official Lender transactional and advisory experience;
  • Tried and tested project management skills to ensure that both on-site and remote support on African projects is delivered effectively; and
  • Close relations with local counsel throughout the continent.

Africa Brochure
Africa Mining Knowhow

 

Experience

Our experience includes representing:

Angola:

  • An oil and gas producer farming into an offshore block.
  • Providers of debt financing to an SPV that leased aircraft to an oil provider.
  • Maersk Oil & Gas on various regulatory and tax issues in Angola, as well as on the purchase and disposal of participating interest regarding Angola concessions.
  • Statoil on various regulatory and tax issues in Angola.

Botswana:

  • Represented Discovery Metals Ltd in connection with the $180 million debt financing of their greenfield Boseto copper mine project.
  • Caterpillar in the $115 million sale of a mining equipment distribution and support business in South Africa and Botswana.

Burkina Faso:

  • The Government in ICC arbitration matters.
  • The Lenders on the structuring of a significant credit facility for Endeavour Mining for the purpose of supporting existing mining operations in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali and to further develop its exploration activities in the Côte d’Ivoire and elsewhere.
  • Goldbelt Resources on its takeover by Avocet Mining, and the financing and construction of the $128 million Inata gold mine in Burkina Faso.

Central African Republic (CAR):

  • The project sponsor in connection with the project financing and development of a gold mine.
  • The project sponsors on a project finance facility for a mine.

Congo-Brazzaville:

  • A Swiss offtaker on the first project financing and offtake agreement for the Kouilou Potash Project, a proposed $412 million development.

Côte d’Ivoire:

  • A lender on the structuring of a significant credit facility for a mining company for the purpose of supporting existing mining operations in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali and to further develop its exploration activities in the Côte d’Ivoire and elsewhere.
  • The Government in respect of an ICC arbitration relating to mineral rights.
  • Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) of the IFC and The World Bank in the provision of legal advice to the governments of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte D’Ivoire and Mali in respect of the application of the promotion of foreign direct investment in public infrastructure and services.
  • The Government on a border dispute with another country involving proceedings before an International Court and potentially before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC):

  • A Congolese company in an arbitration relating to aeronautic services.
  • The Government in connection with the privatisations of the electricity and water sectors.
  • An international beverage company in a dispute with its Congolese distributor.
  • The Mandated Lead Arrangers in connection with a facility to First Quantum relating to the refinancing and development of copper and gold mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Mauritania.
  • A leading Chinese mining company on its proposed acquisition of copper assets in the DRC.
  • Xiangguang Mining Holdings Limited on its mining project in the DRC.
  • A telecoms provider on the financing of its network in the DRC.

Egypt:

  • An export credit agency as lead credit provider to a $650 million petrochemical project in Egypt.
  • The Export-Import Bank of the United States on the $229.8 million financing of an anhydrous ammonia project being developed by Egypt Basic Industries Corporation.
  • An Official Lender in connection with the development of the Qarun and Khalda oil and gas concession in the western desert area of Egypt.
  • Consortium of UK and US contractors in connection with the USAID financed wastewater project.

Equatorial Guinea:

  • A US company in connection with a private port to be built in a Free Trade Zone under a government concession from the Government with facilities to include oil storage and transfer facilities, container, bulk and liquids handling facilities, airfield and runway for air cargo operations and related facilities.
  • Mitsui & Co, Ltd in the acquisition of shares in Equatorial Guinea LNG and subsequent project implementation matters.

Eritrea:

  • A project sponsor on the first financing in Eritrea for the $300 million development of a gold/copper/zinc/silver deposit.

Ethiopia:

  • Ethiopian/Saudi Arabian business interests on the recovery of US$20 million assets involving proceedings in five jurisdictions and worldwide freezing orders.
  • An Irish operating lease company in connection with the operating lease of one Boeing 727 aircraft and one Lockheed C-130 freight transport aircraft.

Gambia:

  • The Government of Gambia on an ICSID arbitration.

Ghana:

  • The Lenders on the structuring of a significant credit facility for Endeavour Mining for the purpose of supporting existing mining operations in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali and to further develop its exploration activities in the Côte d’Ivoire and elsewhere.
  • A lender on the structuring of a significant credit facility for a mining company for the purposed of supporting existing mining operations in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali and to further develop its exploration activities in the Côte d’Ivoire and elsewhere.
  • The arrangers on a corporate loan facility for the Wassa mine.
  • The arrangers of debt financing for development of the Bibiani gold mine.
  • Ghanaian investors on a breach of contract involving an application to the Court of Appeal in Ghana.
  • The arrangers of debt financing for development of the Tarkwa gold mine.
  • Helios on the financing of mobile telecommunication towers.

Guinea:

  • The lenders on a project finance facility for the development of a bauxite mine.
  • A trust agreement and documents for a mining project.

Kenya:

  • Advised the lenders on a $170m project financing of Kenya’s first large-scale mine. The Kwale Mineral Sands project is expected to be one of the world’s largest producers of ilmenite and rustile in the world. The output from the mine is expected to overtake coffee as the country’s fourth biggest export earner.
  • Tiomin Resources in connection with its US$201 million mineral sands project for extraction of titanium and zircon. This was the country’s first major mining operation.
  • A private sector developer in the approximately $300 million development and financing of a commuter rail concession in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • ILFC in connection with the operating lease of an A310 aircraft to Kenya Airways.
  • An international credit card company on a dispute with its Kenyan franchisee.
  • An Australian airline company on the leasing of Airbus aircraft to Kenya Airways.

Liberia:

  • Nedbank Capital and Rand Merchant Bank as arrangers in relation to a project debt facility to be made available to Bea Mountain Mining Corporation in relation to the New Liberty gold project in Liberia. This won the Development Funding Deal of the Year Mines & Money December 2013.

Libya:

  • A large engineering company on the enforcement of a substantial ICC award in Libya and Europe.

Madagascar:

  • A bank syndicate in a secured facility for lease aircraft to a Madagascar carrier.

Malawi:

  • The lenders on a project finance facility for the development of a uranium mine.

Mali:

  • The Lenders on the structuring of a significant credit facility for Endeavour Mining for the purpose of supporting existing mining operations in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali and to further develop its exploration activities in the Côte d’Ivoire and elsewhere.
  • A lender on the structuring of a significant credit facility for a mining company for the purposed of supporting existing mining operations in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali and to further develop its exploration activities in the Côte d’Ivoire and elsewhere.
  • Arrangers of debt financing for development of the Loulo gold mine.
  • Arrangers of debt financing for development of the Morila gold mine.

Mauritius:

  • A group of sugar estates in negotiations with Charbonnages de France for an electricity generating project.

Mauritania:

  • Advising on a joint venture with SNIM to develop an iron ore mine. This has included reviewing the JV arrangements and negotiating heads of terms regarding access to infrastructure including rail and port.
  • Advising Xstrata on the Mauritanian and mining related issues connected with its $323 million acquisition of Sphere Minerals.
  • Advising to Sphere Minerals in connection with the implementation of the group’s mining activities in Mauritania, including the development of the Askaf, Lebthenia, Aoueoua and El Aouj projects (exploration and exploitation licences).
  • Advising mandated lead arrangers in connection with a facility to First Quantum Minerals Ltd relating to the refinancing and development of the Guelb Moghrein copper-gold mine in Mauritania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia in 2006 and 2014.
  • Advising a bank on the implications of entering into derivatives transactions with Mauritanian entities.

Morocco:

  • The Kingdom of Morocco on both its $750 million and $1.5 billion note offerings.
  • A syndicate of US and European banks, led by Chemical Bank, in connection with a finance lease of one Boeing 757 aircraft to Royal Air Maroc.

Mozambique:

  • The lender of the financing of a processing plant.
  • A major mining company
    • in the negotiation of several commercial agreements relating to the project finance for the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Mozambique, including the EPC and O&M agreements.
    • in the drafting and negotiation of a Coal Supply Agreement in Maputo, Mozambique.
    • in the drafting and negotiation of two Power Purchase Agreement, one of them with the Mozambican national power company (EDM).
    • in the negotiation of a Concession Agreement with the Government of Mozambique.
  • The lead sponsor on the development of a 1,200MW gas-fired IPP in Mozambique, including work on the PPA with Eskom (of South Africa) and coordinating with Mozambique counsel (whilst on secondment to the client).
  • Whilst a senior lawyer at Vale SA, one of our lawyers advised on Vale’s existing major coal, power and infrastructure project in Mozambique, negotiating the concession, shareholder EPC, PPA and coal supply agreements.

Namibia:

  • An equipment financier on the financing of equipment for B2 Gold’s Otjikoko’s gold mine .
  • Namibia Copper Mines inc., in connection with the development and financing of the Haib copper mine.
  • US Ex-Im Bank in connection with refinancing of one Boeing 747 aircraft through a tax lease from a South African bank of a Namibian air carrier.
  • The lenders in relation to the $75 million credit facility for Dundee Precious Metal Inc., Canada which involved assets in Namibia.

Nigeria:

  • Canaccord Genuiyt on the IPO and £118 million fund raise for Eland Oil & Gas to enable it to acquire OML 40 from Shell, Total and Eni.
  • On the $175 million issuance of subordinated Tier II debt by First Bank of Nigeria PLC, the country’s largest bank. This was a first-of-its-kind transaction in which we acted for the lead book-runner.
  • A state petroleum corporation on breach of agreements relating to environmental protection.
  • Commercial interests in relation to a COA dispute proceeding before the UK High Court, Nigerian Court of International Justice and Court of Appeal.
  • A contractor on the proposed contracts for three CHP plants.
  • Halliburton Company on an asset sale of lift boat operations in Nigeria to Hercules Offshore Inc. for approximately $55 million in cash.
  • Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation in the drafting of the Biofuels Law for Nigeria.
  • Merrill Lynch International as initial lender and facility agent in two $100 million loans to the Nigerian company OandO Plc., one guaranteed by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and the other guaranteed by Zenith Bank Plc.
  • A contractor and supplier on the construction documentation for a major housing development project.
  • One of Nigeria’s largest banks in connection with the multi­million dollar financing of equipment purchases from a world-leading telecoms and network equipment provider.

Sierra Leone:

  • A PRC SOE on its US $1.5 billion investment in an iron ore mine in Sierra Leone including the negotiation of a complex ore-offtake contract between the project company and the PRC SOE.

Somalia:

  • A French finance lessor and syndicate of French financiers in connection with a French tax leveraged lease (supported by COFACE) of one Airbus A130 to a Somalian carrier.

South Africa:

  • One of the largest steel producers in the world on a major arbitration in relation to its mineral rights.
  • The Department of Constitutional Development on legal reforms, regulatory framework requirements and institutional and public financing arrangements.
  • A bank group in the debt acquisition financing for a mining company.
  • The Ministry of Public Works on concession contracts for two new prisons under 25 year, PPP financing structures.
  • A Southern African entity on setting up a mediation centre to serve Southern Africa.
  • A large multinational consumer goods company on the restructuring of its businesses and joint venture arrangements.
  • Caterpillar in the $115 million sale of a mining equipment distribution and support business in South Africa and Botswana.

Tanzania:

  • African Eagle Resources plc on a number of matters as it progressed in its transition from an exploration company to a development company, including its disposal of 90% of its interest in the Dutwa project to Blackdown Minerals.
  • The lenders on a project finance facility for the development of a gold mine.
  • The Government of Tanzania on a commercial debt repayment.
  • Helios on the financing of mobile telecommunication towers.

Tunisia:

  • US Ex-Im Bank in connection with asset-backed finance leases of six Boeing 737 aircraft to a Tunisian air carrier.
  • The underwriters in a US$650 million SEC-registered global bond offering by Banque Centrale de Tunisie.

Zambia:

  • Standard Chartered Bank on the US$350million financing of the Kansanshi copper mine.
  • The senior lenders, Barclays and the EIB, on a senior debt facility for the development, construction costs and working capital for the Munali nickel mine.
  • The Mandated Lead Arrangers in connection with a facility to First Quantum relating to the refinancing and development of copper and gold mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Mauritania.
  • The lender in debt financing for development of the Dunrobin mine.

Zimbabwe:

  • The lenders on a project finance facility for the development of a platinum mine.

Experience of Tauil & Chequer Advagados in association with Mayer Brown
Angola

  • Sonangol the Angolan national oil company in one of the largest integrated LNG projects in the world, the Angola LNG project, with investments of more than $10 billion in Angola and the US.
  • Mercury Telecomunicações and various major IOC’s operating in Angola with the project documents and agreements necessary to set up the “Sonangol Offshore Optical Cable” network project, regarding the construction of such a network offshore Angola.
  • Maersk Oil & Gas with regards to setting up the business structure for the Block 16 development, advising on various legal, tax and foreign exchange matters pertaining to such projects.

Mozambique

  • CNPC, the Chinese oil and gas E&P company in connection to its interest in the Rovuma Basin Area 4 Offshore Block and LNG Project.
  • A major Brazilian mining company in Mozambique in: the negotiation of several commercial agreements relating to the project finance for the construction of a coal-fired power plant; on the development of a gas-fired IPP; and, in several environmental matters of its projects.
  • Mozal with several legal and tax cross-border issues regarding its operations in the country.
  • The Brazilian construction company FIDENS/AG in a project to build a dam for the government of Mozambique in consortium with Andrade Gutierrez.
  • A major bank in a joint venture with local bank in Mozambique for joint operations of banking loans in Mozambique.
  • Cameron/OneSubsea on various legal issues related to Rovuma basin projects.
  • The Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in the finance structuring of an infrastructure project in Mozambique.
  • A Japanese conglomerate in the development of a petrochemical plant in Mozambique.
  • A major oil and gas E&P company in the planning phase of its projects in Mozambique.
  • TSK, the Spanish construction company in connection with the construction of the project Gigawat – Ressano Garcia Power Plant.
  • Louis Dreyfus Commodities in connection to several deals in Mozambique.
  • The South African company Sasol on various legal issues dealing with the utilization of the Mozambique-South Africa pipeline.
  • The Houston based company Geokinetics on various legal issues related to Rovuma basin projects.
  • A major Asian oil & gas E&P company in its projects in Mozambique’s Rovuma basin area.
  • A Brazilian bioenergy company on a project to develop biomass and installing a bioenergy plant in Mozambique.
  • Schlumberger on various legal issues related to Rovuma basin projects.
  • Wentworth/Artumas on the negotiation of a Petroleum Exploration & Production Contract in the Mozambique Onshore basin.
  • The Brazilian agribusiness company Brasper on n investments in agricultural business in Mozambique.
  • A major energy equipment manufacturer in an M&A for the acquisition of a South African/Mozambican company.
  • Anheuser-Busch Inbev/SABMiller/CDM on in its operations in Mozambique.
  • Subsea7 on various legal issues related to Rovuma basin projects.
  • A major Thai oil & gas E&P company in its projects in Mozambique’s Rovuma basin area.
  • The German engineering company TUV Rheinland Ductor in the provision of engineering services for a major mining project in Mozambique.
  • Eurofarma, a leading global health and life sciences company, on its operations in Mozambique.
  • A major Brazilian agribusiness and energy company on a project to develop agribusiness and an ethanol plant in Mozambique.
  • The Brazilian engineering company Concremat in the provision of engineering services for Mega Projects in Mozambique.
  • The construction and engineering companies Trevi/Tecnasol (Elevo) in a project to build a water dam in Mozambique.
  • Diagonal, an engineering and social resettlement company, in providing services for several Mega Projects in Mozambique and Malawi.
  • The French company CIS in providing services to a large infrastructure project in Mozambique.
  • The agribusiness company Tecsoy in investments in agricultural project in Mozambique of US$ 127 million.
  • The diplomatic representation of Mozambique in Brazil on various legal issues.
  • The Brazil-Mozambique Chamber of Commerce – CCIABM, the entity that promotes the economic relationship between Brazil and Mozambique, along several businesses and projects that totaled over US$ 850 million, involving the affiliated companies.
  • Sindmec, the Union that represents several metal-mechanic equipment industries, with operations in Mozambique of the affiliated industries.
  • The Brazilian construction company ARG Engenharia in projects to build infrastructure in Mozambique.
  • A major Brazilian construction company in the finance structure of a hydroelectric dam project in Mozambique.
  • The construction company MIP Engenharia in bidding to build infrastructure for Vale Mozambique.
  • The engineering company Forship  in its operations in Mozambique.
  • Icro, an engineering and technology company, with providing services for several Mega Projects in Mozambique.
  • APS Associados with occupational safety services in providing services for Mega Projects in Mozambique.
  • A Brazilian construction company in real state projects in Mozambique.
Asia

Accolades

Our team has received a number of accolades, being consistently ranked as a top tier team working in the African continent. 

  • Mayer Brown was recognised as Band 1 in the category "Africa-wide – Projects, Energy & Mining" for the seventh consecutive year on Chambers & Partners’ Global Guide. In the 2018 edition, the firm was also Top Ranked in particular countries, highlighting our work in Lusophone Africa (Angola and Mozambique) as well as our global footprint and local knowledge through a multidisciplinary and multijurisdictional team.

We have worked on many deals that have earned “Deal of the Year” status including the following:

  • Yaramoko Gold (Burkina Faso) – "Africa – Mining and Metals Deal of the Year 2015" IJGlobal Europe & Africa Awards
  • Endeavour Mining – African Mining Deal of the Year 2013 Project Finance Magazine
  • New Liberty gold project (Liberia)Development Funding Deal of the year 2013 Mining Journal
  • Boseto (Botswana) - African Mining Deal of the Year 2011 Project Finance Magazine
  • Kwale titanium mineral sands project (Kenya) – Development Funding Deal of the Year 2011 & 2006 Mining Journal and Africa Mining Deal of the Year 2011 Project Finance International
  • Bisha (Eritrea) – Africa Mining Deal of the Year 2009 Project Finance International
  • First Quantum Minerals (refinancing and development of African mines) – Deal of the Year 2007 Project Finance Magazine and Trade Finance Magazine