The South African and Kenyan offices of pan-African law firm Bowmans together with international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and leading Nigerian law firm Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie will launch their inaugural African Private Equity Academy in Sandton this week. Over 100 delegates from across Africa will attend the launch of the Academy.
John Bellew, the Head of Private Equity at Bowmans Law, notes that the Academy is targeted primarily at junior to mid-level private equity deal executives; and is intended to highlight important legal and commercial issues that should be addressed in negotiating private equity transactions, both in South Africa and more broadly across the rest of Africa.
“The focus of the Academy is commercial and practical rather than technical. It is an opportunity to hear from senior commercial lawyers practicing in key African markets, as well as from a ‘magic circle’ London law firm. It is anticipated that participants will leave the Academy better equipped to negotiate their deals, more aware of potential pitfalls and able to make intelligent and informed use of their professional advisers,” he says.
Bellew says that issues to be discussed at the Academy include the importance of planning for and protecting the ultimate exit from a portfolio company; competition issues in Africa; African deal trends; as well as an overview of the environment, pitfalls and opportunities in private equity in Kenya and Nigeria.
Bellew notes the African equity environment remains compelling in the medium to long term but that the fall in commodity prices and currency collapses had led to a downturn in the short term in this sector.
“In terms of attractive investment destinations, countries dependent on commodity exports like Nigeria and Angola are less attractive in the short term. Francophone Africa and East Africa (notably Kenya) are seen as more attractive, and positive views are also expressed about Egypt,” he adds.
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