Banwo & Ighodalo’s Mergers & Acquisitions (“M&A”) practice continues to be the leading M&A practice in Nigeria; measured by the number and quality of our transactions and recognition by our clientele, leading legal publications and also our colleagues.
The firm has been actively involved in the industry-wide recapitalisation exercise in the Nigerian banking sector, which resulted in mergers of a number of ailing banks with healthier local and foreign banks. Between 2010 and 2011, eight (8) banks were found to be ‘distressed banks’ by the Central Bank of Nigeria and as such, there was a wide recapitalization exercise in the Nigerian banking sector. Over that period, we were engaged by different prospective investors to conduct legal due diligence reviews on all eight (8) banks for prospective investors.
Thereafter, three (3) of the distressed banks were nationalized (due to their inability to recapitalise successfully); and four (4) were involved in M&A transactions. We were transaction counsel in two (2) of the said 4 M&A transactions which closed successfully. When considered against the backdrop of a very competitive legal industry and mindful that the analysis herein relates only to the banking sector, credence is lent to our leading position in M&A legal practice in Nigeria.
In recognition of B&I’s M&A pedigree, a partner in B&I was invited by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) into the technical committee set up in 2004 to assess the impact of the N25 billion banking sector recapitalisation directive on the Nigerian economy. Another partner in the firm was appointed as chairman of a committee set up by the Federal Ministry of Finance to design a Code of Governance/Ethics for Capital Markets Regulators.
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- We are advising Nigerian Breweries Plc in its acquisition and subsequent merger with Sona Systems Associated Business Management Limited (which owns breweries in Ogun and Kaduna States) and Life Breweries Company Limited.
- Advised several groups of investors including consortia led by Dangote Power and Vigeo Holdings Limited on their proposed acquisition of majority equity stakes and grant of concessions in respect of electric power generation and distribution companies slated for privatization and concession by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the ongoing Roadmap for Power Sector Reform in Nigeria.
- We are currently advising a consortium and its Special Purpose Vehicle in connection with the acquisition of majority equity stake in Sapele Power Plc. under the ongoing electric power sector privatization programme.
- We are advising a consortium (comprised of Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Limited and the Petrolin Group of Switzerland) on its acquisition of a combined forty-five percent (45%) participating interest in OML 34 held by Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company.
- Advised Dangote Industries Limited in connection with its multi-billion Naira divestment of a majority stake in Dangote Flour Mills Plc and its subsidiary businesses, to Tiger Brands Limited.
- Advising a Consortium in connection with its proposed multi million dollar investment in an international health care commercial venture.
- We recently advised First City Monument Bank Plc in its acquisition and recapitalisation of Finbank Plc and are currently advising First City Monument Bank Plc on the merger between First City Monument Bank Plc and Finbank Plc. This deal was birthed from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive requiring the recapitalisation of identified Nigerian banks which were on the verge of “failing”.
- Advised Benue Cement Company Plc in connection with its merger with Dangote Cement Plc, to create the largest cement company in Nigeria and one of the largest in Africa (at the time of the deal, the largest Nigerian company by market capitalization, valued at N2.13 trillion, and contributing 25% of the market capitalization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange).