Business & Economy

Thursday, 18 February 2016 13:50

Webber Wentzel a big winner at DealMakers Gala Awards

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Webber Wentzel was a big winner at the 15th DealMakers Annual Gala Awards held on 16 February 2016, walking away with the most coveted legal award of the evening - top legal advisor of the year in the category of Mergers & Acquisitions by Deal Value.

Also noteworthy is that Webber Wentzel was lead advisor and the only firm to have acted on all four deals shortlisted for Private Equity Deal of the Year, and also acted on four of the five transactions shortlisted for Deal of the Year.

"We are very proud of the significant role that Webber Wentzel consistently plays in the most high profile, complex and innovative transactions in this market. We think this result reflects the value we deliver to our clients and the trust they place in us to handle their most important matters", says Christo Els, Senior Partner at Webber Wentzel.

Webber Wentzel is also proud to have been the only firm that advised on both Deal of the Year and Private Equity (PE) Deal of the Year.

Anheuser-Busch InBev's (AB InBev) acquisition of SABMiller was named Deal of the Year.  Webber Wentzel acted for AB InBev in respect of the South African and African aspects of this ZAR 1,53 trillion deal, said to be the third largest M&A transaction in history. The firm also acted for AB InBev on its listing on the JSE in January 2016.

Christo Els, who led the team that worked on the matter says, "The AB InBev transaction was significant, not only because it is was such a large transaction but because it involved complex, cross border elements and regulatory approvals in various jurisdictions. We are proud to have been involved in a deal so important to Anheuser Busch's growth strategy. It also demonstrates our ability to provide a seamless service to clients, wherever they do business."

Ethos' disposal of Plumblink to Bidvest was named Private Equity Deal of the Year. Webber Wentzel advised Ethos on its acquisition of Plumblink in 2006 and supported Ethos in relation to this investment all the way through to this exit - a demonstration of the longevity of the firm's client relationships.

Webber Wentzel Managing Partner, Sally Hutton says, "The disposal was significant for Ethos because they managed to turn the company around in difficult market conditions and ultimately dispose of it successfully through a competitive auction process that attracted interest from both local and international trade and financial buyers.  Webber Wentzel is proud to have partnered with Ethos on this journey."  

This is the fifth consecutive year that Webber Wentzel has played a lead role on the deal named Private Equity Deal of the Year.  "This reinforces the standing of the multi-disciplinary Webber Wentzel private equity team as the go-to team in the private equity sector with an unrivalled integrated offering," says Hutton.

Els was also among the four shortlisted nominees for the Individual Dealmaker of the Year award, which went to John Gnodde from Brait.

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