OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

Driven by policy reforms, a young population, and a rising middle class, Africa is undergoing an investment boom and is on pace to be one of the world’s largest economies.

From our offices in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., the Middle East and China, we advise companies operating or seeking to do business in Africa.  We offer extensive experience advising on finance transactions, project development, private equity and funds matters covering key industry sectors, including power, water, transport, mining, oil and gas, financial services and telecoms. Blakes lawyers advise sponsors, private investors, commercial lenders and development agencies for their investments and transactions in Africa. 

We have multi-lingual language capability, including English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, and our lawyers are trained in and practice in both civil law and common law jurisdictions and are therefore well versed with the legal issues that arise in African jurisdictions. In addition to having practical knowledge of the foundations of local legal systems, our lawyers are very familiar with OHADA laws, the set of uniform commercial laws which is currently applied in 17 West African countries. 

Blakes has one of the largest and most active mergers and acquisitions practices in Canada having been involved in more than 1,100 public and private M&A transactions, with an aggregate dollar value in excess of US$1-trillion, in the past seven years. According to Bloomberg, Blakes is the No. 1 Canadian law firm in both Canadian and global M&A deals by deal value and deal count for this period, 2008-2014. Our Financial Services team is also renowned and regularly assists clients with capital-raising and Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange and dual-country stock exchange listings. Clients in Africa rely on us for comprehensive representation from venture structuring, risk management, capital-raising and project funding through negotiating contracts and assuring regulatory compliance and government approvals. They come to us to represent them in a wide range of multi-jurisdictional investments and cross-border M&A transactions, knowing we can advise on all of the challenges they face.

Expansion into African markets requires an understanding of the legal systems at work across the continent coupled with seamless cross-border legal service. Working with our Lex Mundi global network, our international network of lawyers and local counsel in Africa, clients are assured of comprehensive, cost-effective representation that addresses all issues impacting their businesses and investments in Africa. With representation on the ground in 17 African countries, our Lex Mundi relationships assist us in assembling experienced teams to deliver seamless service and multijurisdictional solutions. 

We have made a commitment to investing in the communities where we do business. We are involved in a number of pro bono projects across Africa, including most recently The “160 Girls” Project and Crossroads International. For more information, please visit our Pro Bono page.

 


Representative Matters

Blakes lawyers have been involved in the following select matters:​

  • True Gold Mining Inc. on its C$120-million financing from Franco-Nevada and Sandstorm Gold Ltd. for the construction of a gold mine in Burkina Faso.
  • TransGlobe Energy Corp. on its business combination with Caracal Energy Inc. to form one of the largest independent Africa-focused oil producers with a combined market capitalization of approximately C$1.8-billion.
  • Blue Gold Mining in connection with C$107-million merger with Riverstone Resources.
  • CGA Mining Limited on its proposed C$1.1-billion acquisition by B2Gold Corporation.
  • Mano River Resources Inc. on its merger with African Aura Resources Limited to form African Aura Mining Inc.
  • Lucara Diamond Corp. on its acquisition of African Diamonds PLC and on the AK6 diamond prospect that has become Lucara’s principal asset, the Karowe Mine in Botswana.
  • African Aura Mining Limited on the strategic investment by Severstal Resources to develop African Aura’s Putu iron ore project in Liberia.
  • Centamin Egypt Limited on its listing on the TSX and subsequent Canadian public offerings
  • Advised the Government of the Republic of Chad in connection with the private development of oil fields  and the construction of a pipeline to the Atlantic Coast of Cameroon and associated marine facilities.
  • Advised the International Finance Corporation for a proposed reform of the OHADA law.
  • Red Back Mining Inc. on its C$310-million acquisition of the Tasiat Gold Mine from Lundin Mining Corporation.
  • Government of the Republic of Guinea in connection with the review of mining and private investment legislation to promote investments in the mining sector.
  • Advised on the international environmental standards applicable to resource extraction operations in North Africa.
  • Government of Senegal in connection with the implementation of the BOT Law, the potential for private-sector participation in infrastructure, as well as the Dianmiadio industrial zone and the Dakar-Thies toll road.
  • Macquarie North America Ltd. on a project facility agreement between Société des Mines de Belahouro S.A., Wega Mining ASA and Resolute Limited and Macquarie Bank Limited.
  • Randgold Resources Limited on its joint acquisition of Moto Goldmines Limited with AngloGold Ashanti Limited for aggregate consideration of approximately C$578-million, consisting of US$76.9-million under a cash election and new ordinary shares of Randgold.​
 

 INDUSTRY RECOGNITION

 

Blakes is ranked as the No. 1 Canadian firm in the 2014 Mergermarket M&A league table rankings for Middle East and Africa Announced by deal value and deal count. Blakes is not only highly recommended by various surveys and guides, but also consistently recognized for the transactions in which it is involved and the satisfaction expressed by its clients.

Members of the Blakes Africa team are consistently recognized as leaders in their respective fields in the most recent editions of the following publications:

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
  • The Legal 500 Canada
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada
  • Who's Who Legal
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Corporate Lawyers in Canada
  • Lexpert's Special Edition on Leading Corporate Lawyers in Report on Business Magazine
 

 PEOPLE

 
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Associate | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4000 x2569
Areas of Expertise: Infrastructure, Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, International Trade, Africa
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2284
Areas of Expertise: Africa, Employment & Labour
Counsel | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5027
Areas of Expertise: Investment Treaty Arbitration, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Competition & Antitrust, Cartels & Criminal Investigations, Competition Law Compliance, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Africa, United States, Europe, Latin America, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, International Dispute Resolution
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5025
Areas of Expertise: Tax, Tax Controversy & Litigation, Africa, Private Equity, Mining, Plan Nord, Mining Streaming & Royalties
Chair | Calgary, Toronto
Calgary: 403-260-9610
Toronto: 416-863-2150
Areas of Expertise: Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Oil & Gas, Energy, Restructuring & Insolvency, Australia, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Equity Capital Markets, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Major Projects, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures
Managing Partner | London
London: +44-20-7429-3555
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Mining, Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, Australia, Africa, Capital Markets, Europe, Equity Capital Markets, Debt Capital Markets, Corporate Governance, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties, Mining M&A and Capital Markets, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5086
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Private Equity, Banking, Asset-Based Finance, Debt Finance & Lending, Equipment Financing, Project Finance, Africa, Europe, Real Estate Financing
Firm Managing Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2748
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Procurement, China, India, Africa, Korea, Middle East, Latin America, United States, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2704
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Equity Capital Markets, Corporate Governance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Mining, Private Equity, Retail & Consumer Products, Africa, Europe, India, United States, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties
Associate | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4034
Areas of Expertise: Asset-Based Finance, Debt Finance & Lending, Project Finance, Infrastructure, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech), Africa, Europe, Middle East
Trade-mark Agent | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2903
Areas of Expertise: Africa, Information Technology, Intellectual Property, Trade-marks
Partner | London
London: +44-20-7429-3558
Areas of Expertise: Africa, Capital Markets, Australia, Europe, Equity Capital Markets, Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mining, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties
Managing Partner, Middle East Offices | Bahrain, Al-Khobar, Riyadh
Bahrain: +973-1715-1523
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050
Riyadh: +973-3620-7999
Areas of Expertise: Procurement, Corporate & Commercial, Project Finance, Infrastructure, Construction, Public-Private Partnerships, Power, Middle East, Africa, India, Oil & Gas, Transportation, Major Projects, Joint Venture & Co-ownership Structuring
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3345
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Markets, Corporate Governance, Mining, Forestry, Africa, Joint Venture & Co-ownership Structuring, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Latin America, Equity Capital Markets, Shareholder Activism, China, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties, Mining M&A and Capital Markets, Major Projects
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5273
Areas of Expertise: Africa, Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Equity Capital Markets, Debt Capital Markets, Structured Finance & Derivatives
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5080
Areas of Expertise: Asset-Based Finance, Debt Finance & Lending, Equipment Financing, Project Finance, Aviation/Aerospace, Banking, Infrastructure, Power, Private Equity, Africa, Europe, India, Middle East, Energy, Foreign Investment, Public-Private Partnerships, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech), Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, LNG
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2785
Areas of Expertise: Corporate Governance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Mining, Australia, Africa, Equity Capital Markets, Debt Capital Markets, Europe, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties, Mining M&A and Capital Markets
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