Commercial, corporate and M&A in Kenya

Anjarwalla & Khanna

Anjarwalla & Khanna is a leading adviser to multinational corporates, as well as local, pan-African investors and international investors. Led by Roddy McKean, the first-rate team stands out in high-profile domestic and cross-border corporate transactions, including those involving multiple African countries. It has a particularly strong M&A capability, which is enhanced by its ability to provide specialist risk and compliance advice. Other work includes private equity and venture capital transactions, joint ventures and restructurings. McKean works with practitioners such as Karim Anjarwalla, Kenneth Njuguna and Rosa Nduati-Mutero, among others.

Practice head(s):

Roddy McKean

Other key lawyers:

Karim Anjarwalla; Rosa Nduati-Mutero; Dominic Rebelo; Anne Kiunuhe; Daniel Ngumy; Wangui Kaniaru; Kenneth Njuguna; Charlotte Elizabeth Patrick-Patel; Kevin Junior Mutulis; Edwina Warambo; Fayha Karimbux

Testimonials

‘A&K has a broad multidisciplinary team that has a significant track record transacting in East Africa. The ability of the firm to traverse boundaries with partner firms across the region is clearly a unique selling proposition. The firm has the ability to look at transactions not only from a legal lens but also from a commercial prism which is very important to clients such as.’

‘Karim Anjarwalla, Rosa Mutero and Daniel Ngumy are just rock stars!’

‘They are knowledgeable of the legal frameworks, smart, savvy and entrepreneurial yet ethical in finding solutions during a transaction. They are leaders in their respective legal disciplines in Kenya and dependable. They work as a team with no egos, and are reachable 24/7, which is very rare for successful lawyers in Kenya. They have a client centric approach to business where not every call, email and advice is billable. They believe in building long term relationships with their clients which end up increasing their client base. I would unreservedly recommend them to anyone transacting in Kenya!’

 

 

Key clients

Equity Group Holdings

WPP Scangroup

Leapfrog Investments

East African Seed Group

Carbacid Investments PLC

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V.(FMO)

Ministry of Finance, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Quality Meat Packers

Proparco

Electrifi

Africinvest

Energy Access Ventures

Crown Paints Kenya

Moringa School

Vodacom

Telkom Kenya

GardaWorld International Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Equity Group Holdings (EGH), one of the largest commercial banks in Africa by customer numbers and publicly traded on the Nairobi, Ugandan, and Rwandan securities exchanges, in connection with the amalgamation of Banque Commerciale Du Congo (BCDC) and Equity Bank Congo S.A (EBC) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by way of transfer of the business and assets of EBC to BCDC in consideration of issuance to the shareholders of EBC of new shares in BCDC.
  • Acting for Leapfrog Investments, a private equity firm, in connection with its acquisition of approximately 24% of the shares in ICEA Lion Insurance Holdings from First Chartered Securities, the holding company of the ICEA group of companies, which undertakes insurance business in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
  • Acting for WPP Scangroup, a Kenyan listed company, and Research and Marketing Group International, one of the leading integrated Publishing groups in the MENA region, in connection with its disposal of 60% of the Kantar Africa Business.

Bowmans

Bowmans‘ standing in the market is reflected by the large volume of transactions it attracts, as well as its prominence in particularly high-value matters. In addition, a significant portion of the firm’s mandates have a cross-border dimension, with issues reaching across the continent. The team recently advised Safaricom, which is the largest telecoms provider in Kenya, on its bid for a second licence in Ethiopia. Elsewhere, the firm’s ability to advise on ancillary competition and tax law issues are a value-add for the practice. M&A expert Joyce Karanja-Ng’ang’a co-heads the large department with Rainbow Field and tax specialist Alex Mathini. Richard Harney and Paras Shah are other key individuals, as are Philip Coulson, Kendall Evans and Vruti Shah.

Practice head(s):

Joyce Karanja; Rainbow Field; Alex Mathini

Other key lawyers:

Richard Harney; Paras Shah; Philip Coulson; Joyce Mbui; Vruti Shah; Kendall Evans; Christina Nduba-Banja

Testimonials

‘I appreciate working with this practice because of their pragmatism and business-oriented approach to deal with issues.’

‘The primary lawyers I dealt with were Richard Harney and Christina Nduba-Banja. I had a very good experience working with them. I appreciated their availability and reactivity, the clarity of their advice and their pragmatism and business-oriented approach to deal with issues and propose solutions that work for both parties.’

‘They exceeded my expectations. We have now decided to continue using Bowmans’ services going forward to support us during the integration of the asset into our group as well as ongoing support in sustaining and developing our business in Kenya.’

‘Christina Nduba is our relationship partner. She has been excellent in acting as a relationship partner and managing her team to provide outstanding service.’

Key clients

Allianz Africa Holding GmbH

Diageo Plc

Orient Bank Limited

Bioline

Old Mutual UAP Group

Investeringsfonden for Udviklingslande (IFU)

BOC Holding

EDF International SAS (France)

Global Eagle

TPG Global LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Safaricom Plc on Kenyan law aspects of the bid by Safaricom led consortium ‘Global Partnership for Ethiopia’ – for Ethiopia’s second telecommunications licence and also advised on the financing to Safaricom Plc to fund its portion of the $850m licence fee to obtain the licence.
  • Advised Allianz Africa on the acquisition of Jubilee Holding’s General Insurance business, a cross-border transaction involving multiple jurisdictions.
  • Advised Bioline Group on the acquisition of the bio-control business and assets of Flamingo Horticulture Kenya Limited.

CMS Daly Inamdar Advocates

The corporate and commercial team at CMS Daly Inamdar Advocates, led by Shitul Shah and Hamish Keith, provides legal services in all areas of Kenyan business and company law. The firm advises on the incorporation and registration of trading entities and the restructuring and reorganisation of companies or groups for tax purposes. Other work includes assisting with compliance matters and business licensing in sectors including retail and telecoms.

Practice head(s):

Shitul Shah; Hamish Keith

Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews

Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Mathews is a strong choice for advice on complex mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and buyouts that often involve cross-border elements. Daniel Muriu Wanjau , Andrew Mugambi and Peter Okaalet are key partners with extensive experience in competition and merger control applications. Practice head Richard Omwela has expertise in capital markets transactions, including corporate bonds issuances and IPOs.

Practice head(s):

Richard Omwela

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Muriu Wanjau; Andrew Mugambi; Peter Okaalet; Adil Khawaja

Testimonials

‘The people I dealt with were quite friendly and collaborated very well to help us resolve the issue we had at hand.’

‘The in-depth understanding of legal issues and the professional way to resolve it. The patience and willingness to simplify the issues for a layman’s understanding. I am referring to Mr Mugambi whom I have worked with on various occasions.’

Key clients

748 Air Services (Kenya) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised 748 Air Services (Kenya) Limited on its acquisition of 49%, through an affiliate company, Airport Hangar Services Limited, of the issued share capital of African Express Airways (Kenya) Limited, a key player in Kenya’s aviation industry .

ENSafrica

ENSafrica is highly regarded for advice on corporate and commercial matters, with its workload including M&A, restructurings, disposals and buyouts. The department’s experience spans several sectors, ranging from tourism and infrastructure to energy and real estate. The firm was involved in the first-ever cross-border buy-back of listed securities in East and Central Africa, where it acted for Nation Media Group. Mahesh Acharya and Amar Grewal-Thethy jointly lead the commercial, corporate and M&A practice. Meshack Mboya is a highly-rated associate.

Practice head(s):

Mahesh Acharya; Amar Grewal-Thety

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Shaw; Meshack Mboya

Testimonials

‘Good communicators. Excellent at explaining the practical application of complex legal issues.’

‘Good practical advice. Amar Grewal-Thethy is a pleasure to work with.’

‘The team is very technically competent, very good in following through with issues and is able to work with clients to close on matters.’

‘Amar Grewal-Thety stands out because of his ability to break down technical matters to a language the client can understand, keeping close to the client and ensuring the client is happy with quality of work in addition to his ability to follow-through on matters to their logical conclusion.’

Key clients

Van Woustraat Limited (VWL)

Safaricom PLC

MFS Africa

Nation Media Group

Victoria Commercial Bank

Eisai Europe

The Oxford University

Financial Sector Deepening Africa Limited

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners

Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates

The corporate team at Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates is regularly involved in complex and novel transactions that span a number of sectors. It has maintained an influx of engagements in the financial services, private equity and bank acquisition sectors. As a member of the DLA Piper Africa network, it is well-equipped to carry out continent-wide work. James Kamau and David Lekerai  co-head the department, which was bolstered by Kamami Christine Michira ‘s arrival from Bowmans. Trishala Devani is a name to note at associate level.

Practice head(s):

James Kamau; David Lekerai

Other key lawyers:

Kamami Christine Michira; Trishala Devani

Testimonials

‘The practice is well versed with the M&A landscape in Kenya, including managing stakeholder sensitivities when dealing with listed entities.’

‘They are competent and committed to what they do, which helps clients understand and mitigate risks of legal non-compliance.’

Key clients

Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited

Glacier Products Limited

KCB Group Plc

BOC Kenya Plc

Flamingo Group

NBCA Group Plc

East African Breweries Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising KCB Group Plc, one of East Africa’s largest banks (with subsidiaries in Kenya, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Burundi) on its acquisition of up to 100% stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (“BPR”) and a 100% stake in African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited (“BancABC”) from Atlas Mara.
  • Advised the Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited on the acquisition of 90% of the share capital of Jamii Bora Bank Limited (now trading as Kingdom Bank Limited).
  • Advised Glacier Products Limited (“GPL”) on a capital-raising transaction through an investment by Agri-Vie Fund II (Pty) Limited (“Agri-Vie”), a private equity fund, by way of share purchase and share subscription.

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates

Kaplan & Stratton Advocates is able to provide a full range of services to clients, with the corporate and M&A practice being able to count on the support of practitioners with expertise in finance, tax, competition, regulatory and employment law. The team operates across multiple sectors, with mandates ranging from telecommunications matters to mandates relating to energy and natural resources. Joseph Ng’ang’ira and Sarah Kiarie-Muia lead the team, which also includes Kenneth Kamaitha. Oliver Fowler is another experienced practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Ng’ang’ira; Sarah Kiarie Muia

Other key lawyers:

Kenneth Kamaitha; Oliver Fowler

Testimonials

‘Kaplan & Stratton Advocates has a good team of lawyers covering all aspects of corporate law.’

‘Joseph and Kaplan & Stratton Advocates have become our go-to law firm in Kenya; thanks to Joseph’s focus on client needs, not only providing invaluable legal advice and delivering high-quality outputs but also being available almost 24/7 and at short notice whenever we need help.’

‘K&S provides good quality and timely advice. Whenever I contact them, they are quick to respond to my queries and to answer any follow-up questions that I have.’

‘Joseph Ng’ang’ira is a very intelligent and knowledgeable lawyer. He is able to provide quick solutions to our business issues. He understands our business very well and is able to grasp the issues at hand.’

‘Very pragmatic and solution-oriented.’

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

British American Tobacco

Coca Cola Kenya

Proparco

American Tower Corporation

Safaricom Limited

Samsung

Unilever PLC

A.P. Moller Capital

Hapag-Lloyd

DHL Group

Prudential Assurance Group

Lafarge Holcim Group

Agri-Vie Fund

SAP Group

L’Oreal Group

Creadev

Work highlights

  • Advised Agri-Vie Fund II on all aspects of an acquisition transaction of a controlling interest in Dairyland, including coordinating a cross border legal due diligence across three African countries and preparing the relevant transaction documents including a complex share purchase agreement and shareholders agreement.
  • Advised on a proposed transaction involving the acquisition of shares comprising 24.1% of ICEA LION Insurance Holdings Limited by Eastern Africa Holdings Limited.
  • Advised IFC regarding its multimillion-dollar investment into the recently established Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC).

Walker Kontos Advocates

Walker Kontos Advocates' corporate and M&A practice benefits from the firm's strong presence in the banking sector, with it undertaking a significant amount of work for leading banks. In addition, the private equity and agri-business industries are seen as other key areas of strength. Areas of expertise include M&A, restructurings, joint ventures and capital markets transactions. Alexandra Kontos specialises in transnational acquisitions and buyouts, while managing partner Michael Kontos is experienced in both local and cross-border mandates. Peter M Mwangi and Deepen Shah are notable lawyers.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Kontos; Michael Kontos; Peter Muhiu Mwangi; Deepen Shah; Diana Situma; Rahma Karanja; Martha Gitonga-Muturi

Testimonials

‘Highly experienced, well versed, up to date team of highly professional lawyers led by Michael Kontos on the issues we need legal advice on.’

‘Michael Kontos is very experienced, very knowledgeable and has almost certainly done or seen elsewhere what our issue is that needs help or clarification so answers are quickly forthcoming. Practical.’

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Consolidated Bank of Kenya Limited

SBM Bank (Mauritius) Limited

Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A.

Société de Promotion et de Participation Coopération Economique (PROPARCO)

Standard Bank Group

Bank of Africa Group

Absa Bank Kenya Plc

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N. V. (FMO)

I&M Bank Limited

Citibank N.A.

The Trade and Development Bank

Standard Chartered Bank Limited

KCB Bank Kenya Limited

Jamii Bora Bank Limited

European Investment Bank

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

GuarantCo

Norsad Finance Limited

CDC Group Plc

SANAD Fund for MSME

NCBA Bank Kenya Plc

Prime Bank Limited

Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC)

World Bank Group

Saracota Enterprises Limited

Hajar Services Limited

Nedbank NA

Symbiotics SICAV (Lux) on behalf of its subfund SEB Microfinance V

SICAV-SIF

FirstRand Bank Limited

AKA European Export and Trade Bank

Global Partnerships Social Investment 5.0

responsibilityAccess to Clean Power Fund S.A.

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Bonds S.A.

Cordiant Emerging Loan Fund IV

Allianz EM Loans S.C.S.

Belgische Investeriingsmaatschaappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden – Societe Belge D’Investissement pour les Pays en Developpment

Panari Group

Global Climate Partnership Fund S.A.

Work highlights

  • Acted as transaction legal adviser to Jamii Bora Bank Limited, now known as Kingdom Bank in relation to the acquisition of 90% shareholding in Jamii Bora by The Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited
  • Acted as Kenyan counsel to The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited as well as various DFIs including Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and Deutsche Investitions-Und Entwicklungsgesellschaft Mph.
  • Acted as joint administrators in the sale of the business and assets of ARM Cement PLC (Under Administration) in Kenya and Tanzania to National Cement Company Limited.

KO Associates

KO Associates is highly reputed for advising large corporate clients operating in the technology, infrastructure and energy sectors. The corporate and commercial team have been involved in a wide array of mandates recently, with instructions from Safaricom PLC and Microsoft East Africa Ltd. Crispine Odhiambo Awitti and Stephen Kiptinness are recommended.

Practice head(s):

Crispine Odhiambo Awitti; Stephen Kiptinness

Key clients

Safaricom Plc

EchoVC

National Social Security Fund

Ngare Narok Industries Ltd

Stima Sacco Society Limited

Superfluids Holding Ltd (Mauritius)

Microsoft East Africa Limited

Adrian Group Limited

Quickmart

Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF)

Lordship Africa

Jubilee Holdings Limited

Poa Internet Kenya Limited

Africa Instore Solutions

Kenya Investment Mechanism (KIM)

Work highlights

  • Advised Adrian Group Limited on the acquisition of 40% shareholding in Atlas Tower Kenya Limited, a tier 2 Network Facility Provider.
  • Advised National Social Security Fund on the set-up of the first of its kind SME Growth Fund by NSSF to finance small and medium-scale firms in the manufacturing, agriculture and technology sectors in Kenya through various funding instruments including private equity, debt and guarantee instruments. The project is a vehicle for the investment of the largely underfinanced SME sector and a move to support the government’s Big Four National Development Blueprint.

MMAN Advocates

MMAN Advocates has a reputable M&A and private equity practice, which is involved in high-value transactions.  The team's strong deal execution capabilities are complemented by its expertise in competition issues, as well as strong relationships with regulators such as the Competition Authority and Capital Markets Authority. The firm is at the forefront of diversity as Suzanne Muthaura, Waringa Njonjo and Carole Ayugi are prominent names in an all-female partner line-up.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Muthaura

Other key lawyers:

Carole Ayugi; Waringa Njonjo

Testimonials

‘Waringa Njonjo provides prompt, helpful and commercially sensible advice.’

Key clients

Pioneer University

Cordiant Capital

Horeb Services Uganda Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Pioneer International University, a private institution in Kenya, in connection with the preparation of its university charter including conducting a limited due diligence.
  • Acted for Cordiant Capital to undertake a due diligence of Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group Limited, a major IRU capacity provider in east Africa, for the proposed creation of share warrant.
  • Acted for Horeb Services Uganda Limited to incorporate a private company limited by shares and conduct a legislative review on setting up an employment agency.

MMC ASAFO

MMC ASAFO has a robust commercial, corporate and M&A practice, which is strong in both domestic and cross-border transactions. The firm has a wide client base, including Tracom Services Limited and Automobile Association of Kenya. Its work spans several sectors, such as technology, manufacturing and entertainment, among others. Esther Njiru-Omulele and Isaiah Mungai Kamau are names to note.

Practice head(s):

Esther Njiru-Omulele; Isaiah Mungai Kamau

Key clients

Automobile Association of Kenya

Kenya Wines Agencies Limited

Bamburi Cement Limited

Homeboyz Entertainment PLC

Orana A/S

British American Tobacco Kenya Limited

Liberty Afrika Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Automobile Association of Kenya on a capital raising transaction through a restricted public offer.
  • Advised Kenya Wines Agencies Limited on its intention to put up an ultra-modern fermentation and manufacturing facility in Tatu City.
  • Advised Homeboyz Entertainment Limited on its intention to list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange’s (NSE’s) Growth Enterprise Market Segment.

TripleOKlaw Advocates

TripleOKlaw Advocates is a robust firm based in Nairobi which offers a range of commercial law services with particular expertise in M&A. It is active in the financial services sector with a strong record for advising on inbound investment in Kenya. Notably, the firm was the lead legal adviser for the establishment of the world’s first development real estate investment scheme, Acorn D-REIT. Bryan Muindi heads the corporate and commercial department and is supported by Jinaro Kibet, who has expertise in private equity transactions.

Practice head(s):

Bryan Muindi

Other key lawyers:

Jinaro Kibet

Testimonials

‘The firm is incredibly professional, offering a very wide perspective of the legal process. Each partner is renowned for their individual field of expertise. My experience was good as they were extremely thorough.’

‘In my opinion, Bryan Muindi stood out the most because of his attitude towards the purchase agreement I had to execute.’

Key clients

The National Treasury of the Republic of Kenya

Entec Technology Development Company Limited

Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF)

Acorn D-REIT

Acorn I-REIT

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA)

Telkom Kenya PLC

Koa Save Africa Limited