Banking, finance and capital markets in Nigeria

Aluko & Oyebode

Aluko & Oyebode's team is 'very knowledgeable about the law and regulations, and provides excellent legal support'. Kofo Dosekun is particularly active in project finance transactions, and advised Indorama Eleme and Fertilizer Company on the $1bn expansion of a fertiliser production plant at Eleme, in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Capital markets specialist, Olubunmi Fayokun, who is the head of the capital markets practice, is a former chair of the Capital Market Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law. Reginald Udom is 'very knowledgeable, responsive and has an amazingly calm temperament, no matter the pressure he is under'. Oludare SenboreJennifer Martins-Okundia, Funmilayo Otsemobor and Ayodeji Oyetunde are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Kofo Dosekun; Olubunmi Fayokun; Reginald Udom; Oludare Senbore

Testimonials

‘Very responsive. Partners with great expertise. Appropriate pricing.’

‘Reginald Udom remains probably the strongest partner I have worked with in the legal market. Very knowledgeable, responsive and with an amazingly calm temperament no matter what pressure he is under.’

‘The team at Aluko & Oyebode is very knowledgeable about the law and regulations across the varying regulators and jurisdictions and provides excellent legal support’. 

Key clients

Access Bank Plc

Africa Finance Corporation

Allianz SE

Citi Bank

Coronation Merchant Bank Limited

Ecobank Nigeria Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted as Nigerian counsel to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc on the provision of two separate credit facilities to  Eroton Exploration Production Company Limited (Eroton) and Bilton Energy Limited (Bilton) for the refinancing of an existing debt and financing the operations of Eroton in OML 18.
  • Acted as Nigerian counsel to MTN on a ₦200bn term credit facility provided by a syndicate of financial institutions, which included Citibank Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria and Standard Chartered Bank, among others.
  • Acted as Nigerian counsel to the joint lead managers on a programme update and new issue of bonds under an existing $3bn global medium-term note Programme, and a cash tender offer under a liability management strategy by Africa Finance Corporation.

Banwo & Ighodalo

Banwo & Ighodalo is a market-leader for all domestic and international banking transactions, including those involving secured, unsecured, multi-currency and syndicated lending arrangements. The practice also assists clients with compliance with banking legislation and regulatory initiatives, as well as the establishment of banks (and representative offices of overseas banks) in Nigeria. In the capital markets space, Ayotunde Owoigbe and Azeezah Muse-Sadiq have expertise in global depository receipts (GDRs), IPOs, government bonds, equity and debt offerings, securitisation and derivatives, among other areas. Other notable partners are 'excellent solution finder' Femi Olubanwo, Isa Alade and Seyi Bella.

Practice head(s):

Ayotunde Owoigbe, Femi Olubanwo

Testimonials

‘Fast thinkers and very knowledgeable team. Femi Olubanwo was very involved in all aspects of the transaction and an excellent solution finder.’

Olaniwun Ajayi LP

Olaniwun Ajayi LP demonstrates strong capabilities across the full range of banking and finance transactions, such as those involving acquisition finance and project finance, among others. In addition, it advises on regulatory matters, and also provides support on restructurings and insolvencies. In the capital markets arena, the firm handles offerings of debt and equity finance for major domestic and international corporations, financial institutions and governments. Yewande Senbore leads the group, which includes Tominiyi Owolabi and Konyin Ajayi.

Practice head(s):

Yewande Senbore

Key clients

Infrastructure Credit Guarantee Company Limited (InfraCredit)

Development Bank of Nigeria Plc.

Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company

Seplat Petroleum Development

Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria

Work highlights

  • Acting as Nigerian counsel to the investor Sterling Oil Exploration & Energy Company on the provision of up to $3.15bn financing for the development of an oil and gas asset in Nigeria held by Nigeria Petroleum Development Company.
  • Advising Airtel Africa Plc on its $750m dual listing in the United Kingdom and Nigeria.
  • Advised InfraCredit on the ₦8.5bn, 15-year AAA rated, fixed-rate senior green infrastructure bonds due 2034, issued by North South Power Company under a ₦50bn debt issuance programme guaranteed by InfraCredit.

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie

According to one client, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie fields 'the most experienced all-round team of lawyers in Nigeria'. The seven-partner group is jointly led by Daniel Agbor, Aniekan Ukpanah and Yinka Edu. It is known for its 'outstanding capabilities' in syndicated and bilateral loans, debt capital markets, structured  and leverage finance, project finance and asset finance, debt to equity conversions, Islamic banking and other derivative transactions. Nicholas Okafor, Adeola Sunmola and Onyinye Okafor are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Agbor, Aniekan Ukpana, Yinka Edu

Testimonials

‘The most experienced all-round team of lawyers in Nigeria’

‘Recommended for its network of connections, responsiveness and highly practical advice.’

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

GROFIN SGB Fund

HUMANIQ

Credit Suisse AG

Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC

Lafarge Africa PLC

Work highlights

  • Advising Union Bank of Nigeria Plc on a proposed credit facility of up to $200m from Overseas Private Investment Corporation.  
  • Advised Chocolate City Limited on a $1.8m convertible term loan to Chocolate City (as the borrower) by the WEA International Inc, an entity in the Warner Music Group.
  • Advised the trustees of Mixta Real Estate Plc on the ₦2.96bn issuance of series two (tranche A) guaranteed bonds, as well as series two (tranche B) secured bonds with a value of approximately ₦2.32bn.

AELEX

AELEX's multidisciplinary team has expertise in all aspects of banking and finance, and also capital markets transactions, The scope of its work includes advice on local and international credit facilities, loan and security documentation, structured finance, IPOs and Eurobond issuances, private placements, custodial arrangements and derivative transactions. Practice head Lawrence Fubara Anga undertakes a mix of transactional and regulatory matters for domestic and international banks, and financial regulators. Olusina Sipasi and Chinyerugo Ugoji are the other key partners.

Practice head(s):

Lawrence Fubara Anga

Testimonials

‘Strong banking practice, responsive and competent.’

‘Aelex has a team of dedicated lawyers who are always available to assist with carrying out tasks and delivering exceptional legal services. Key strengths include providing updates on as soon as they return from court and other value added services, where necessary. They have a huge wealth of experience in capital market matters. They are quick to provide rare insight into matters they handle on behalf of The Nigerian Stock Exchange’

‘Laurence Fubara Anga is an excellent lawyer and is very helpful in all financial transactions’

Key clients

EMTS (Etisalat)

Keystone Bank

Nigerian Stock Exchange

Securities Solutions

Emerging Markets

Payment West Africa

Work highlights

  • Advised the Coca-Cola Company on the acquisition of a 100% equity in C.H.I. Limited, a leading producer of juice and value-added dairy brands in Nigeria.
  • Assisting Simbisa Brands Limited with its London AIM listing, including preparing a due diligence report on its Ghanaian subsidiary, Simbisa Brands Ghana Limited.

G. Elias & Co

G. Elias & Co has extensive experience of handling project finance, share and asset acquisition finance and refinancing transactions. It is notably active in the telecoms, hospitality, energy (including oil and gas) and transport sectors. The firm also advises both domestic and international financial institutions on novel hedging arrangements, repurchase transactions, securities lending, forward sales, swaps and other derivatives transactions. Founding partner Gbolahan Elias and Fred Onuobia are the lead partners. Nosakhare Aguebor departed for an in-house position at Africa Finance.

Practice head(s):

Fred Onuobia, Gbolahan Elias

Templars

Templars has a strong track record handling the financing aspects of groundbreaking projects. It also generates other finance mandates under the leadership of team head Chike Obianwu, whose expertise includes syndicated loans and acquisition finance. Desmond Ogba and Zelda Akindele are also noted for their finance experience. Elsewhere, the team undertakes the entire ambit of debt and equity capital markets transactions for clients; the varied workload includes IPOs, dual listings and Rule 144A and Reg S debt offerings. Senior associate Modupe Dabiri is also a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Chike Obianwu

Key clients

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria

Total E&P Nigeria Limited

Tolaram Group

IFC

Citibank

Work highlights

  • Acted as Nigerian legal counsel to International Finance Corporation and others lenders on their circa $1.2bn financing for the expansion of an existing urea fertiliser complex operated by the Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemical Ltd.
  • Advising Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise and Tolaram Group as the project company and sponsor on the development and $1.34bn financing of a greenfield integrated deep sea port in Ibeju Lekki in Lagos State.
  • Advising Depthwize Nigeria Limited on the restructuring of a $100m senior secured facility by Africa Finance Corporation, JPMorgan Chase Bank and a group of other lenders.

Abdulai, Taiwo & Co

Abdulai, Taiwo & Co excels in advising operators, sponsors and financiers on project finance and regulatory aspects of major PPP infrastructure and utilities projects. In the capital markets space, the firm is also able to advise on bond issuances and private placements, among other equity and debt securities. Key figures include practice head Alayo Ogunbiyi and Ladi Taiwo, who is an expert in PPP/PFI projects.

Practice head(s):

Alayo Ogunbiyi

Key clients

The Nigeria Stock Exchange

Shelter Afrique

Stanbic IBTC Bank

The Infrastructure Bank

Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised UTL Trustees as security trustees to a consortium of three banks on the $12.5m trust deed consolidation and registration of a borrower’s diverse security and collaterals.
  • Advised SME Venture Capital Investment as the fund manager on the ₦1bn IPO of Prince Real Estate Investment Notes.
  • Advised AG Goldtrust Ltd as project sponsor on the Minna/Suleja Water Project and the ₦57.80bn B.O.T. Concession with the Niger State Government.

Bloomfield Law Practice

Bloomfield Law Practice is strong in corporate finance, trade finance and real estate finance. Also notable is that practice head Adedoyin Afun has expertise in aviation finance. He also leads complex local and cross border transactions involving syndicated and non-syndicated projects and asset finance, with a strong emphasis on machinery and shipping.

Practice head(s):

Adedoyin Afun

Testimonials

Bloomfield is unique due to its ability to break down complex solutions into simple steps and ensure everyone within our company understands what it means to comply.

Key clients

Telford Offshore Limited

FIM Bank PLC

Musim Mas Holdings Pte Ltd

Northstar Europe S.A

Engie Fenix Nigeria Limited

Middle Band Solar One

Work highlights

  • Advised FIM Bank Plc as the lender on its client’s acquisition of a motor tanker vessel, ‘Princess Oge’, from Gobel Marine Services Limited, a Nigerian maritime company.
  • Advised Sea Trucks Group Limited on the restructuring of its operations (including the repossession of vessels chartered by a Nigerian company to operate in Nigerian waters) and the $575m Norwegian law senior secured bond that STG issued.
  • Advised Zomay on the restructuring of a multimillion dollar term loan facility (backed by an export credit facility) advanced by Nedbank Limited for the acquisition of a multipurpose patrol and crew vessel.

Duale, Ovia & Alex-Adedipe

Duale, Ovia & Alex-Adedipe is strong in investment fund raising, asset finance, project finance, corporate and acquisition finance, as well as in private equity and debt finance. The firm is known for working with clients ranging from fintech start-ups to established market players who have concluded various funding rounds from pre-seed to Series B. Adeniyi Duale and Adeleke Alex-Adedipe are the key names.

Practice head(s):

Adeniyi Duale; Adeleke Alex-Adedipe

Other key lawyers:

Seye Ayinla

Key clients

TeamApt Limited

Arca Payments Company

Terragon Group

Clane Company Nigeria

Rensource Distributed Energy Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Nigerian Financial technology service provider TeamApt on its $5.5m capital raise (debt and equity mixed ratio) led by Quantum Capital Partners for commercial expansion.
  • Assisted PiggyTech with a $1.1m seed funding round.
  • Advised Clane Company Nigeria Limited on a seed funding investment round with local and international investors up to $1.5m.

Jackson, Etti & Edu

Jackson, Etti & Edu advises international and regional banks, investment banks, insurers and asset managers. It covers debt and equity capital markets work, as well as structured, leveraged and asset finance transactions. In addition, advice on regulatory matters is another key workstream. The practice is jointly led by Kunle Soyibo and Abayomi Adebanjo.

Practice head(s):

Kunle Soyibo, Abayomi Adebanjo

Odujinrin & Adefulu

Odujinrin & Adefulu advises clients on bilateral and syndicated lending, acquisition finance, structured trade finance and project finance. It also handles debt and equity capital markets transactions. Damilola Adetunji and Olubukola Olabiyi are key figures in the team, which acts for domestic and international clients.

Practice head(s):

Damilola Adetunji

Olajide Oyewole LLP

With strong sector expertise in the banking, energy, oil and gas, securities and capital markets, the team at Olajide Oyewole LLP is also able to leverage complementary multi-jurisdictional expertise as a member of the DLA Piper Africa network.  Managing partner Tunde Oyewole has a historical track-record acting in M&A transactions, project finance and public infrastructure, construction and concessions. Elsewhere, co-head of energy and finance practice, Dayo Idowu is a name to note for corporate finance, project finance and aviation finance. Idowu co-heads the practice with Solape Peters.

Practice head(s):

Solape Peters; Dayo Idowu

Key clients

Samsung Heavy Industries

Nigeria Ltd 7 years

Mainstream Energy

Solutions Ltd

SHI-MCI FZE

Lagos State Government

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

Oando Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Finnish Fund For Industrial Cooperation, FinnFund and Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, NorFund on the provision of $10m long-term debt finance to Starsight Power Utility for funding the expansion and development of an off-grid solar power site.
  • Advised WEA International as the lender/investor on its $1.85m investment in Chocolate City Group for recorded music and music publishing-related purposes.
  • Advising the operator of a hydro electricity generation company on proposed financing/investments in two power distribution businesses.

Sefton Fross

Sefton Fross has a standout reputation in energy finance transactions, and acts on a number of the largest seen in Nigeria. Other key areas of activity include project and corporate finance, derivatives and structured finance. The firm is also highly reputed in the debt capital markets sphere, where it is often a first port of call for the most significant debt issuances in the market. Clients include private equity firms, domestic and international banks, export credit agencies, multilateral and development finance institutions, and government agencies, among others. Team head Olayemi Anyanechi 'deeply understands her clients objectives and looks for the most appropriate structures'.

Practice head(s):

Olayemi Anyanechi

Testimonials

Commitment, depth of experience and understanding of the regulatory framework, ability to structure transactions/solutions that work, insights into the sector‘.

Olayemi Anyanechi as a partner is extremely thorough. She also deeply understands her clients’ objectives and looks for the most appropriate structures to help achieve those objectives. Very comfortable to seek her opinion/ instruct the firm as we know we will always get quality back‘.

Key clients

Prudent Energy and Services Limited

TLG Capital Limited

ABSA Securities

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc

Bunge SA

Aiteo Eastern E&P Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited on financing its acquisition of Forte Oil Plc.
  • Advised TLG Credit Opportunities Fund on the Nigerian aspects of the $10m financing to Atlas Mara.
  • Assisted the Debt Management Office of the Federal Government of Nigeria with its ₦100bn (circa $276m) issuance of a non-interest financing instrument (Sukuk) in the domestic debt market to be used for road infrastructure development.

The New Practice (TNP)

At The New Practice (TNP), Baba Alokolaro acts for investors and investee companies on numerous capital raising transactions, and led the team that advised Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc on a rights issue by way of a shelf registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission; this was the first equity financing transaction of its kind in Nigeria. Babajimi Ayorinde, who has over two decades of experience acting for issuers on debt capital issuances, led the team which advised Axxela Group on its ₦50bn bond issuance programme.  Also in the capital markets space, Bukola Bankole has particular experience of working with e-commerce and fintech companies on fundraisings and other activities. Bankole jointly leads the practice with Baba Alokolaro.

Practice head(s):

Bukola Bankole; Baba Alokolaro

Key clients

Synergy Capital

Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc

Chapel Hill Denham

Primera Africa Finance

Coronation Merchant Bank

Interswitch

FBN Quest

Work highlights

  • Advising Ellah Lakes Plc on its reverse takeover of Telluria Limited.
  • Advised One Finance and Investments Limited on its first internationally-backed commercial debt transaction from New York and Nairobi-based Lendable.