Firm / Organisation

Webber Wentzel

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Senior Partner: Christo Els
Number of partners: 145+
Number of lawyers: 450+
Languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Portuguese

Firm Overview:
Webber Wentzel is a leading South African full-service law firm providing clients with innovative solutions to their most complex legal and tax issues across Sub-Saharan Africa. With over 400 lawyers, the firm’s multi-disciplinary expertise is consistently ranked top-tier in leading directories and awards. The firm’s collaborative alliance with Linklaters gives it global reach and its deep relationships with outstanding law firms across Africa allows it to provide clients with the best expertise whenever and wherever they do business.

Practice Areas
Administrative Law
Banking & Finance
Business Rescue & Restructuring
Capital Markets
Competition
Corporate/M&A
Corporate Investigations
Dispute Resolution
Employment
Intellectual Property
International Arbitration
Investment Funds
IT & Telecommunications
Media & Broadcasting
Private Equity
Projects
Real Estate
Regulatory (including Financial)
Tax
Transfer Pricing

Sectors
Agribusiness, Food & Beverage
Energy & Infrastructure
Engineering & Construction
Financial Services
Healthcare
Industrials
Insurance
Mining
Oil & Gas
Private Equity
Retail
Telecommunications, Media & Technology
Transport

Recent Work:
High profile matters include acting for/advising:
■ Old Mutual plc with respect to the internal reorganisation of the Old Mutual Group (‘Group’). The reorganisation has been hailed as part of the homecoming of Old Mutual back to Africa and will lead to Old Mutual Ltd housing the Group’s emerging-markets operations. Old Mutual Ltd will have a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (‘JSE’) and a standard listing on the London Stock Exchange, as well as secondary listings on the Malawi Stock Exchange, Namibia Stock Exchange and Zimbabwe Stock Exchange
■ On the largest ever project financing of infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa: the US$2.73 billion project financing of the US$4.5 billion construction/refurbishment and operation of a 912km railway line through Mozambique and Malawi as well as the construction and operation of a coal terminal in the port of Nacala-à-Velha, Mozambique. The railway links Vale Mozambique’s Moatize coal project in Tete Province, Mozambique, with the port. As well as providing a logistics solution for Vale and Mitsui’s coal mine, the project is expected to be catalyst for what is expected to be significant regional development in agribusiness and other sectors
■ ALTEN Africa’s completion of the project financing of the biggest solar PV plant in Namibia, a significant project for Sub-Saharan Africa and the first independent power producer-procured utility scale solar project closed in Namibia to date. Namibia has one of the best electricity infrastructures in Africa and a high level of electrification, but it’s also very dependent on imported energy
■ Oil Tanking MOGS Saldanha on the development and financing of a commercial crude oil blending and storage terminal at Saldanha Bay. Once complete, the oil storage terminal will have total capacity of 13.2 million barrels, comprising twelve in-ground concrete tanks. The project is said to be a catalyst to establish Saldanha as a global crude trans-shipment hub and is unique in terms of its location, composition and strategic value and is the first in the world to incorporate blending capabilities in concrete tanks. The project is located alongside South Africa’s Strategic Fuel Fund Association’s (SFF) existing storage facilities and the project team enjoys the benefit of the involvement of members of the engineering team that oversaw the construction of the SFF facility in the 1970’s. The project is valued at approximately ZAR 3 billion. Construction commenced in late 2016 and is on-going, with the first tranche of operational tanks coming on-line this year
■ The Carlyle Group (via its Sub-Saharan Africa Fund) on its acquisition of Tessara Proprietary Limited (a manufacturer of preservation technologies for use in the marketing and export of fresh produce) and its subsidiaries for an undisclosed sum
■ In respect of the establishment of the ARC Fund, a private equity fund investing in a broad range of sectors in South Africa and other African countries. Webber Wentzel also acted as legal counsel in respect of the establishment and listing of the feeder vehicle into the ARC Fund, African Rainbow Capital Ltd. This was a very complex structure from a tax, regulatory, exchange control and fundraising perspective and included vehicles in South African and Mauritius
■ Vodafone Group Ltd in respect of the disposal of its indirect 34.94% interest in Safaricom Ltd to Vodacom Group Ltd for ZAR 35 billion. This deal was awarded ‘M&A Deal of the Year 2017’ by DealMakers


Contributions

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Corporate Tax 2019 Law and Practice in South Africa

Brian Dennehy, Graham Viljoen, Anne Bennett, Cor Kraamwinkel

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