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Investment funds in South Africa

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel‘s well-established investment funds group linked with the firm’s leading M&A, tax and finance departments. The team is highly adept at fund formation in South Africa and Africa more broadly, and its impressive client roster includes local and international private equity and venture capital houses.  Nicole Paige  leads the team, and her ‘depth of experience‘ is praised as ‘industry leading.’ Ashford Nyatsumba  and Michael Denenga are also core members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Nicole Paige

Testimonials

‘Compares very well to other teams. A diligent, creative and responsive team.’

‘They are invested in our success and understand us as clients.’

‘We have used Webber Wentzel for a number of pan-African and South African mandates; the Webber Wentzel team are able to consider the requirements of the mandates and propose a specific structure which addresses our exact needs.’

‘The team, led by Nicole Page, is diverse in gender and race, and provides excellent collaboration across legal, tax and regulatory practices to be able to deliver a truly multi-disciplinary service to clients.’

‘The depth of experience from Nicole Page is definitely industry leading, and together with Brian Dennehy, Webbers are able to provide holistic fund structuring and tax structuring advice. Their experience from structuring and negotiating fund agreements across many of the leading African fund managers and investors provides in depth and up-to-date technology and negotiation insights which few others in the local market can match.’

Key clients

Ethos Private Equity

Adiwale Capital

Metier Group

ARCH Emerging Markets Partners

South Suez Africa

Alterra Capital

Capitalworks

Convergence Partners

Vantage Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising the sponsors relative to the establishment and subsequent closings of the ARCH Cold Chain Solutions East Africa Fund, a fund established to invest in opportunities in the temperature-controlled supply chains in East Africa.
  • Advising Mahlako Financial services in establishing the Mahlako Energy Fund I Partnership which is mandated to make long-term equity, quasi-equity and equity-related Investments in a diversified portfolio of projects and businesses in the energy value chain focusing on renewable energy, gas and energy services.
  • Advising Ethos in assuming the management of Ninety One Africa’s Private Equity Funds.

Bowmans

Bowmans handles investment fund mandates across the African continent, and is aided by the firm’s regional office network. The team has great strengths in structuring and forming private equity funds, including advising limited partners alongside its work for managers. John Bellew in Johannesburg and Wally Horak  in Cape Town jointly lead the team, Bellew with particular expertise in the formation of private equity funds and Horak with substantial experience in tax-related mandates. Cape Town's Joshua Janks  is also of note in this space.

Practice head(s):

John BellewWally Horak

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Janks

Key clients

Sanari Capital

SummerPlace General Partners

SummerPlace Equity Partners

Ninety One SA

Trinitas Private Equity

Bachique 813

The SA SME Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised Sanari Capital in relation to the establishment of the Sanari LMM I Warehousing Partnership and the investment by 27 four Black Business Growth Fund II Partnership.
  • Advised SA SME Fund Limited on establishing a general partnership with SummerPlace Equity Partners Proprietary Limited, called SummerPlace Equity Fund I.
  • Assisted Trinitas Equity Partners in establishing the Trinitas Beauty Partnership.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

In Cape Town, funds specialist John Gillmer  chairs the investment funds practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr which advises major asset managers as well as start ups on private equity and alternative capital fund formation matters across South Africa and the continent more broadly. Mark Linington  is a notable name in the tax space, and has great expertise in private equity funds alongside senior associate Wayne Murray, who is an executive member of the group. M&A expert Brian Jennings  joined the firm from ENSafrica in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

John Gillmer

Testimonials

‘The team has many years experience in Africa and internationally in funds and structures. They know our business very well and going way beyond what is expected. There is always someone available to help on very short notice.’

‘The key individuals has many years experience in Africa and internationally in funds and structures. They thus know our business very well and going way beyond what is expected.’

‘The practice has a lot of depth and irrespective of the issue there is always someone internally who is a subject matter expert. They never miss a deadline and urgent matters are always prioritised to a point where one feels like they are the only client. The teams is solution orientated and thinks outside the box depending on the assignment.’

‘The team is led by a dynamic individual John Gilmer, who brings wide ranging industry specific expertise and has built a formidable, creative young team of professionals. The team is incredibly knowledgeable and up to date on global innovation and best practice.’

‘John Gilmer and Wayne Murray have been very professional and responsive to work with.’

‘John Gillmer is highly-experienced, knowledgeable, approachable and client friendly. He takes the time, in a methodical and detailed manner, to fully understand the client challenge. He then applies his in-depth and broad knowledge of financial services laws, industry practice and regulatory interpretation, to offer pragmatic and sensible advice and solutions.’

‘John Gilmer has wide ranging expertise across the private equity value chain, from fund raising and due diligence through to the conclusion of all fund related agreements. He has also gone out of his way to assist in introductions and referrals to potential investors.’

‘Working with John Gilmer and Wayne Murray has been a pleasure; they are responsive, suggest good ideas, are solutions-orientated and professional.’

Key clients

27Four

MCP

Novare Equity Partners

Investec Bank

PIC

PAPE

Old Mutual

Coronation Fund Managers

Nesa Capital

PSG Capital

CoreShares

ASO Capital

Ascension Capital Partners

SA SME Fund

Eskom Pension and Provident Fund

University of Pretoria

GrnCAT Holdings

Kotani Capital

Aleyo Capital

Idi Emerging Markets Partners S.a.r.l

Mbuyu Capital Partners

Creative Growth Capital

ENSafrica

ENSafrica ‘s investment funds practice is well integrated with the firm’s corporate, banking and finance and tax departments and offers advice across the African continent. Its broad ranging practice encompasses expertise in private equity and venture capital funds, collective investment schemes, hedge funds, REITs and managed account platforms. Based in Cape Town, banking and finance lawyers Johan Loubser  and Jessica Blumenthal have expertise across private equity funds and regulatory matters. Tax experts Magda Snyckers  and Mansoor Parker  are also active in this space.

Practice head(s):

Roger Rudolph

Work highlights

  • Represented Greenman Investments S.C.A., SICAV-FIS in a reconsideration hearing at the Financial Services Tribunal.

Werksmans Attorneys

The investment funds and private equity team at Werksmans Attorneys is chaired by Shayne Krige  from Cape Town. Investors and managers in South Africa and across the continent are within the group’s client roster, and private equity, hedge funds and pensions funds are all active areas for the practice. Robert Driman  in Cape Town holds expertise in financial services and regulation and Doelie Lessing  in Stellenbosch is an expert in tax law. Hilah Laskov was promoted to director in March 2021. Krige is connected to the EU market, having spent over a decade practicing in Paris.

Practice head(s):

Shayne Krige

Key clients

Stonewood Holdings

Barak Fund Management

Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund

Nomura

Standard Bank

Chase & Willow Investment Partners

Citadel

CNBB Venture Partners

Cosnova Cosmetix

Havaic Venture Capital

Arx Pangaia

Ngewdi Investment Managers

Prescient

King Price Insurance

Mergon

Sana Partners Private Equity

Kapela Investments Holdings

Vumela Enterprise Development Fund Trust

First National Bank

King & Wood Mallesons LLP

Palladino Holdings

BI Tech Consulting

Simple.Capital Partners

Malcolm Neil Campbell in his capacity as the curator of Die Vrystaat Munisipale Pensioenfonds

Work highlights

  • Advised the principals of the Belvedere Group, who are accused by the press of administering a large Ponzi scheme.
  • Acting for Barak Fund Management in relation to the restructuring of a suite of investment funds in the wake of COVID-19.
  • Acting for the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund in respect of its rights under a limited partnership agreement in respect of a private equity fund in which the client invested.