John Bellew > Bowmans > Johannesburg, South Africa > Lawyer Profile

South Africa
John Bellew photo

Work Department

Corporate Commercial, Mergers and Acquisitions: Equity; Investment Funds


John Bellew heads Bowmans’ Private Equity Practice.

He specialises in private equity: fund formation, mergers and acquisitions, management arrangements and acquisition finance. His expertise extends to public mergers and acquisitions and listings.

John has advised prominent private equity houses on some of the largest transactions undertaken in Africa. He has represented borrowers and high yield lenders and has formed numerous private equity funds with a focus on South and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has been involved, on behalf of the South African industry body SAVCA, in various lobbying activities, particularly pension fund participation in private equity funds, taxation and exchange control.

John was a founder member of the AVCA Legal and Regulatory Committee.

He has B.Com and LLB (cum laude) degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Diploma in Tax (cum laude) from the University of South Africa.

Lawyer Rankings

South Africa > Commercial, corporate and M&A

Bowmans continues to impress in cross-border transactions, most notably for foreign multinationals, and is at the forefront of major corporate restructurings. It advised Datatec on its $830m disposal of a majority stake in its Westcon-Comstor business to Synnex. The firm also assisted Trinitas Private Equity Partnership with its acquisition of a $300m majority stake in AutoX from Powertech Industries. The ‘approachable and friendly‘ team ‘performs with speed and accuracy‘ and ‘helps make the deal happen‘. Ezra Davids is a hugely experienced M&A practitioner and Charles Douglas is ‘pragmatic and clever‘ and is particularly noted for big-ticket cross border deals. John Bellew is a leader in private equity transactions and Charles Young is recommended for mining sector M&A. Ashleigh Hale is noted for black economic empowerment (BEE) matters. Ian Kirkman is ‘detail driven while remaining entirely commercial and focused on the best outcome‘. Robert Cohen is ‘a very clever lawyer‘, ‘a good negotiator‘ and ‘a lateral thinker‘.

South Africa > Investment funds

(Leading individuals)

John BellewBowmans

Bowmans is a burgeoning presence in private equity funds, including pan-African fund structuring and formation. The expansion of the firm’s tax department has further augmented the funds practice, which is led by the highly reputed John BellewWally Horak is recommended for tax structuring.