Jason Wilkinson

Jason Wilkinson

Partner
Johannesburg, South Africa
T: +27 11 669 9423
E: jason.wilkinson@bowmanslaw.com
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights

Overview

Jason Wilkinson is a partner in our Johannesburg office and a member of the Banking and Finance Department.

He has an extensive international and domestic practice that specialises in leveraged finance, complex acquisition finance, real estate finance, mining finance, trade finance, margin loan finance, debt restructurings and intricate finance transactions.

Jason has represented many of the leading African, US and European financial institutions, private equity sponsors, investment funds and international corporations on some of the largest transactions in recent years. He has worked extensively in the African, London, New York, Moscow, Paris and Hong Kong financial markets.

Prior to joining Bowmans, Jason spent over a decade working in the London offices of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Simmons & Simmons LLP.

Jason has BA and LLB degrees from Rhodes University and completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Common Professional Examination (CPE) for Solicitors in London.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

Leveraged / Acquisition Finance

A selection of Jason’s recent, notable leveraged/ acquisition finance transactions includes advising:

  • PepsiCo Inc in relation to the in aggregate ZAR 25 billion acquisition financing made available to its South African subsidiary, Simba (Pty) Ltd, for the acquisition of all the issued shares in Pioneer Foods Group Ltd, a public company listed on the JSE.
  • ABInBev in relation to the ZAR 1.5 billion acquisition financing made available to Isanti Glass 1, an entity made up of a black-owned investment company and a local subsidiary of ABInBev, from The Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd (acting through its Corporate and Investment Banking Division) in respect of the purchase of Nampak’s glass business.
  • ABInBev in the unwinding of the existing SAB Zenzele Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Ownership structure and the implementation of the new SAB Zenzele Kabili Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Ownership transaction, including the issuance of the ZAR 2.9 billion preference shares and ZAR 15 billion stock lending arrangements.
  • The Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd (acting through its Corporate and Investment Banking Division) in respect of the strategic acquisition financing advanced to a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, indirectly owned and controlled by the Capricorn Capital Group for the funding of loan notes issued by a Luxembourg vehicle, which in turn undertook in favour of Vukile Property Fund Ltd (a company listed on the JSE), through an underwriting arrangement, to purchase shares in a Spanish property company, Morzal Property Iberia S.L.
  • South African National Treasury on the curatorship of a large South African retail bank, African Bank, including in particular the “good bank / bad bank” split off, the related underwriting in connection with the “good bank”, drafting, negotiating and advising on the guarantee framework agreement designed to ensure national fiscal stability, advising in connection with liquidity issues, insolvency and restructuring advice (and in particular opining on the treatment of creditors in the “good bank / bad bank” split).
  • Nedbank Ltd, Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd and FirstRand Bank Ltd (acting through its Rand Merchant Bank Division) in connection with one of the largest financings (ZAR 5.25 billion) made available in the South African market in 2016, advanced to a fund subsidiary of Old Mutual Group Holdings.
  • Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd and Stanbic Bank Botswana Ltd in connection with a senior secured USD 30 million multicurrency term, revolving and overdraft financing made available to Wilderness Holdings Ltd and a number of its subsidiaries in various jurisdictions. This multifaceted deal was highly complex and contained multiple levels of security across Botswana and South Africa.
  • Absa Bank Ltd (as lender) in connection with the conclusion of the ZAR 1.7 billion financing arrangement relating to the sale and repurchase of the shares of TP Hentiq (Pty) Ltd by Ethos Private Equity and the sale of the assets of Autozone Retail and Distribution Proprietary Ltd.
  • Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd in relation to a USD 40 million senior financing arrangement made available to Mota-Engil Egenharia e Costrucao Africa SA, a Portuguese company and global leader in civil construction, public works, port operations and logistics, for the purpose of refinancing existing indebtedness and working capital purposes across its African network.

Mining / Resource Finance

A selection of recent mining and/ or resource finance transactions Jason was involved in, includes advising:

  • Royal Bafokeng Platinum in relation to the gold stream purchase with Triple Flag Mining Finance Bermuda Ltd in terms of which RBPlat will deliver a portion of its gold production to Triple Flag over the life of its operations for an upfront payment of USD 145 million (approximately ZAR 2.1 billion). In addition, Triple Flag will pay a further 5% of the gold spot price to RBPlat for each gold ounce delivered under the agreement.
  • African Rainbow Minerals Ltd (ARM) in restructuring the commercial financing arrangements with Glencore in respect of ARM Coal (Pty) Ltd’s (ARM Coal) participation in the Glencore Participating Coal Business and the Goedgevonden Coal Mine, from a legal, commercial and financial perspective. Under the refinancing, ARM, ARM Coal, Glencore Holdings South Africa and Glencore Operations SA have agreed to restructure approximately ZAR 6 billion of debt owed amongst the various parties in respect of their GGV coal operations and their PCB coal operations, which will afford ARM the ability to discharge the debt in a more timely fashion, thereafter deriving direct benefit for its shareholders
  • Royal Bafokeng Platinum in relation to the significant upsize of its existing term and revolving credit facilities to an aggregate amount of approximately ZAR 3 billion, in order to effect the acquisition by its wholly owned subsidiary, Royal Bafokeng Resources, of the balance of the 33% interest in the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine Joint Venture for an aggregate amount of ZAR 1.863 billion from Rustenburg Platinum Mines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anglo American Platinum.
  • Orion Resources in respect of its acquisition of an equity interest in Blyvoor Gold Capital Proprietary Ltd. The estimated deal value, which included various gold streaming, offtake and equity arrangements, was USD 60 million.
  • Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd (Harmony) in relation to its USD 300 million acquisition of the Moab Khotsong mine, the Great Noligwa mine and related infrastructure from AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. – Energy and Natural Resources Deal of the Year, African Legal Awards 2018.
  • Gold One Group Ltd in relation to the refinancing and upsizing of a USD 200 million margin loan facility provided by Bank of America, NA to G1 and secured by Sibanye Gold Ltd shares listed on the JSE to enable G1 to subscribe and pay for further shares in Sibanye Gold Ltd under their rights issue.
  • Trafigura Beheer BV (Netherlands) and Trafigura PTE (Singapore) (as borrowers) in connection with the borrowing base facility provided by certain lenders (including FirstRand Bank Ltd) to Trafigura for the up to USD 450 million financing of copper commodities in the DRC, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique.
  • Absa Bank Ltd (in its capacity as Lender and ECIC Agent) in respect of a ground breaking and collaborative initiative to finance one of Africa’s significant new diamond producers in relation to (i) an ECIC backed facility of USD 84 million made available to the Liqhobong Mining Development Company Proprietary Ltd for the construction and development of a mine in the Maluti mountains of Lesotho and (ii) a Eurobond issue by Firestone Diamonds Plc (issuer) and Pacific Road Resources Fund and Resource Capital Fund as Subscribers.

Real estate finance

Jason advised the following clients on recent real estate financing transactions:

  • Investec Bank Ltd, Freedom Property Fund and Delta Property Fund (part of the Delta Africa group) in relation to a landmark USD 23 million and EUR 32 million multicurrency term loan facility for the acquisition of the Anfa Place Shopping Centre in Casablanca, Morocco, spanning 5 legal systems and covering 4 jurisdictions. The financing was the first entry into the Moroccan Market by the parties and has now set the platform for future funding models and projects in Morocco. This transaction was awarded the prestigious Banking, Finance and Restructuring deal of the year 2016 by the African Legal Awards.
  • Stanbic Bank Kenya Ltd and Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd (acting through its Corporate and Investment Banking Division) in relation to the USD 71.5 million secured financing for the development of the Two Rivers Mall in Kenya, being the largest shopping centre in East Africa.
  • FirstRand Bank Ltd (acting through its Rand Merchant Bank Division) in respect of a USD 26.5 million development and medium term loan facility made available to Momentum Africa Real Estate Fund 1 Ghana Ltd (as borrower) for the purpose of financing the development, construction and operation of the 335 Place office block, in Accra, Ghana
  • FirstRand Bank Ltd (acting through its Rand Merchant Bank Division) in relation to a USD 10.9 million medium term facility provided to a Nigerian incorporated company for the full refinancing of its existing senior debt funding for an office block in Lagos, Nigeria. The majority shareholder of the Borrower is part of the AXA Mansard Group, a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management.
  • Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd (acting through its Corporate and Investment Banking division) in relation to a USD 28.5 million medium term facility provided to West Hills Mall Ltd (the borrower) pursuant to an English law development and term facility agreement for the full restructuring of the borrower’s West Hills Mall in Ghana
  • FirstRand Bank Ltd (acting through its Rand Merchant Bank division), in connection with the USD 25 million development and term loan facility provided to Ghanaian subsidiary of Hyprop Investments and Atterbury Investments for the development of a shopping mall in Ghana.

Signature Matters

Awards

  • IFLR1000’s 2020 and 2019 Financial and Corporate Guide rated Jason as a Notable Practitioner.
  • Jason was ranked as a Recommended Lawyer in Legal500, 2017.
  • Jason was the lead partner on the team who was awarded the African Legal Awards 2016 Banking, Finance and Restructuring Team of the Year award for its work on Mara Delta Property Holdings’ acquisition of a shopping centre in Morocco – one of the largest pan-African real estate financings in recent history.

‘Jason Wilkinson is ‘highly reputed’ for ‘mining sector finance.’ -IFLR 1000, 2020

“Jason Wilkinson and his team have provided us with a timely and good service over the past five years, responding quickly to inquiries and proving that they are able to deliver a good product on tight timelines. The team provides end-to-end transaction advice, drafting and implementation services and plays a vital role in managing the relationship between ourselves and in-country legal firms on our cross-border transactions. Jason is very knowledgeable in his area and is able to provide good legal solutions when required to accommodate commercial constraints or challenges.” -“Trusted adviser.”

“He runs a good practice and is great at developing his juniors and letting them run with matters with the appropriate oversight. He has a great depth of knowledge on matters of English law and banking and finance and is always willing to brainstorm solutions. He is responsive and good to have on your side of the table in negotiations.” -IFLR 1000, 2019

Publications & Insights