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Ian Kirkman

Partner | Johannesburg

Ian-Kirkman

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Contact

T: +27 11 669 9447

Overview

The more complex a cross-border transaction is, the more important it is to have a safe pair of hands steering it through to closing. With an eye on securing his clients’ best interests in an efficient, legal and commercially sound manner, Ian has advised on a number of transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the consumer goods sector.

Ian specialises in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), for both listed and unlisted companies, equity capital markets transactions (focusing on listings and offerings) and broad-based black economic empowerment transactions.

Many of the M&A transactions Ian advises on are multijurisdictional, involving various moving parts that must be tracked and synchronised to get the deal done. Ian is often the lead partner on these transactions, coordinating the activities of local law firms and specialist advisors (including finance, tax, regulatory, employment and competition), and serving as the contact point with the client.

The most geographically dispersed transaction on which Ian has advised was in the beverages industry and involved 14 different African jurisdictions. He has also worked on a five-jurisdiction transaction, again in the beverages sector.

Ian thrives on innovative or novel transactions to which he can apply his technical expertise and commercial acumen. An example was the first-of-a-kind listing of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) on the Main Board of the JSE.

Clients appreciate Ian’s thoroughness, communication skills and problem-solving orientation. He has an eye for detail and, simultaneously, the ability to take a broad view of the legal frameworks affecting transactions.

Experience

Ian has advised:

M&A

  • Nampak on its ongoing asset disposal programme agreed with its lenders.
  • AECI on its announced intention to dispose of certain identified non-core businesses.
  • Sanlam in relation to its offer to acquire all of the issued shares in Assupol (Assupol is listed on the CTSE).
  • Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited in a contested bid for its control by Impala Platinum Limited and Northam Platinum Limited.
  • Imperial with the establishment of an employee share ownership programme.
  • Reunert with its broad-based black economic transaction announced in 2021.
  • Datatec Limited in relation the sale of its majority interest in Analysys Mason.
  • One Thousand and One Voices and Crossfin Technology with the acquisition of Sybrin from EOH.
  • Monnoyeur SAS in connection with the acquisition of 100% of the equity interests of Impact Fork Trucks Limited from enX Group Limited, listed on the JSE.
  • Fairfax (the majority shareholder of Grobank) with the investment by Access Bank (a Nigerian multinational commercial bank) of up to ZAR400 million into Grobank.
  • Isanti Glass (which is 60% owned by the black-owned investment company Kwande Capital and 40% owned by SABSA Holdings (a subsidiary of AB InBev)) in relation to its ZAR1.5 billion acquisition of Nampak Glass. This transaction was named the Dealmakers BEE Deal of the Year, 2019.
  • AB InBev with the disposal of its soft drinks businesses in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Zambia to Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.
  • SABMiller plc in respect of the combination of bottling operations of The Coca-Cola Company, SABMiller and Gutsche Family Investments’ (majority shareholders in Coca-Cola SABCO) in Southern and East Africa to create Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.

Equity Capital Markets

  • The Coca-Cola Company in connection with the announced plan to list Coca-Cola Beverages Africa on Euronext Amsterdam and the JSE.
  • Standard Bank and Nedbank in connection with the ZAR1 billion rights offer undertaken by Nampak in 2023.
  • Latham & Watkins in advising Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs in relation to the repurchase programme of Naspers and Prosus.
  • Dis-Chem in relation to its listing on the JSE.
  • Capital Appreciation in relation to its listing as a SPAC on the JSE (this was the first listing of a SPAC on the Main Board of the JSE).
  • CFR Pharmaceuticals in relation to its proposed takeover of Adcock Ingram.
  • Virgin Active Group Holdings Plc in relation to its proposed 2015 IPO.

AREA OF EXPERTISE

Qualifications

  • B.Com and LLB degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand.

INSIGHTS

Overview

The more complex a cross-border transaction is, the more important it is to have a safe pair of hands steering it through to closing. With an eye on securing his clients’ best interests in an efficient, legal and commercially sound manner, Ian has advised on a number of transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the consumer goods sector.

Ian specialises in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), for both listed and unlisted companies, equity capital markets transactions (focusing on listings and offerings) and broad-based black economic empowerment transactions.

Many of the M&A transactions Ian advises on are multijurisdictional, involving various moving parts that must be tracked and synchronised to get the deal done. Ian is often the lead partner on these transactions, coordinating the activities of local law firms and specialist advisors (including finance, tax, regulatory, employment and competition), and serving as the contact point with the client.

The most geographically dispersed transaction on which Ian has advised was in the beverages industry and involved 14 different African jurisdictions. He has also worked on a five-jurisdiction transaction, again in the beverages sector.

Ian thrives on innovative or novel transactions to which he can apply his technical expertise and commercial acumen. An example was the first-of-a-kind listing of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) on the Main Board of the JSE.

Clients appreciate Ian’s thoroughness, communication skills and problem-solving orientation. He has an eye for detail and, simultaneously, the ability to take a broad view of the legal frameworks affecting transactions.

Experience

Ian has advised:

M&A

  • Nampak on its ongoing asset disposal programme agreed with its lenders.
  • AECI on its announced intention to dispose of certain identified non-core businesses.
  • Sanlam in relation to its offer to acquire all of the issued shares in Assupol (Assupol is listed on the CTSE).
  • Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited in a contested bid for its control by Impala Platinum Limited and Northam Platinum Limited.
  • Imperial with the establishment of an employee share ownership programme.
  • Reunert with its broad-based black economic transaction announced in 2021.
  • Datatec Limited in relation the sale of its majority interest in Analysys Mason.
  • One Thousand and One Voices and Crossfin Technology with the acquisition of Sybrin from EOH.
  • Monnoyeur SAS in connection with the acquisition of 100% of the equity interests of Impact Fork Trucks Limited from enX Group Limited, listed on the JSE.
  • Fairfax (the majority shareholder of Grobank) with the investment by Access Bank (a Nigerian multinational commercial bank) of up to ZAR400 million into Grobank.
  • Isanti Glass (which is 60% owned by the black-owned investment company Kwande Capital and 40% owned by SABSA Holdings (a subsidiary of AB InBev)) in relation to its ZAR1.5 billion acquisition of Nampak Glass. This transaction was named the Dealmakers BEE Deal of the Year, 2019.
  • AB InBev with the disposal of its soft drinks businesses in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Zambia to Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.
  • SABMiller plc in respect of the combination of bottling operations of The Coca-Cola Company, SABMiller and Gutsche Family Investments’ (majority shareholders in Coca-Cola SABCO) in Southern and East Africa to create Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.

Equity Capital Markets

  • The Coca-Cola Company in connection with the announced plan to list Coca-Cola Beverages Africa on Euronext Amsterdam and the JSE.
  • Standard Bank and Nedbank in connection with the ZAR1 billion rights offer undertaken by Nampak in 2023.
  • Latham & Watkins in advising Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs in relation to the repurchase programme of Naspers and Prosus.
  • Dis-Chem in relation to its listing on the JSE.
  • Capital Appreciation in relation to its listing as a SPAC on the JSE (this was the first listing of a SPAC on the Main Board of the JSE).
  • CFR Pharmaceuticals in relation to its proposed takeover of Adcock Ingram.
  • Virgin Active Group Holdings Plc in relation to its proposed 2015 IPO.

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