The Legal 500

Saudi Arabia

Editorial

Legal market overview

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains a strong and stable legal market, underpinned by the attractiveness of its vast oil reserves. The market has become busier since 2012, especially in the context of project finance and infrastructure. There is also a strong push by the government to diversify into renewable forms of energy, and this trend is reflected in the healthy flow of projects work seen by many firms.

The competitive scene remained relatively undisturbed in 2013, although a number of international law firms formed new associations through which to practise in the market: these new associations include Zeyad S. Khoshaim Law Firm in association with Allen & Overy LLP, Simmons & Simmons in association with Hammad Al-Medar & Co. and Abdulaziz AlGasim Law Firm in cooperation with Linklaters (Riyadh), wherein the local entity had previously worked alongside Allen & Overy LLP for five years. Al-Jadaan & Partners Law Firm in co-operation with Clifford Chance LLP remains a solid alliance and strong market leader; it is set to become the first international firm to gain a licence to practise in its own right in Saudi Arabia.

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    Azmi & Associates recently advised Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (‘FGVH') in a corporate transaction via its subsidiary, Felda Global Ventures Downstream Sdn. Bhd. (‘FGVD') in a joint venture agreement involving two other parties namely M2 Capital Sdn Bhd. (‘M2 Capital') and Benefuel International Holdings S.A.R.L. (‘Benefuel') which is a subsidiary of Benefuel US, through which an SPV will be incorporated to acquire a biodiesel plant. The JV company has agreed to acquire a biodiesel plant ("Plant") located at Gebeng, in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia from Mission Biofuels Sdn. Bhd. (‘MBSB') for a USD twenty two million and five hundred thousand (USD 22,500,000.00) (‘Plant Acquisition') under a Plant Purchase Agreement. The shareholding of FGVD, M2 Capital and Benefuel in the JV Company shall be 60% for FGVD, 20% for M2 Capital and 20% for Benefuel. The estimated project cost for the proposed joint venture including the Plant Acquisition, licensing costs, purchase of catalyst, refurbishment and retrofit shall be USD forty seven million and five hundred thousand (USD 47,500,000.00). The nature of business of the JV Company shall be manufacturing and producing biodiesel using the retrofitted Plant and other ancillary activities.