International experts, focusing on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), gathered last week at the Lagos M&A Academy to update West African professionals on contemporary trends in global M&A processes and practices. The one-day event organized by DLA Piper Africa, in conjunction with Olajide Oyewole LLP, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Nigeria, took place last Friday at the Radisson Blu hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The M&A Academy is the third that DLA Piper Africa has held in Africa and the first in West Africa. The event was attended by mid and senior level associates working in corporate finance, private equity, in-house legal teams and strategy departments of organizations. The academy provided an overview of the key stages of the M&A process as well as covering areas such as preliminary agreements, warranties, indemnities & insurance and due diligence.
One of the key discussions cantered on the different technical skillset required for professionals in the Africa M&A market in comparison to global M&A. During the session it was noted that while the majority of the transactions in Africa relate to buyouts, there is significant investment M&A as well, specifically: share subscriptions, minority investments or acquisitions, joint ventures and combinations of share sale and subscription transactions. Delegates also discussed opportunities around risk sharing, early stage growth and the availability of financing.
The panel speakers for the M&A Academy provided a mix of local knowledge alongside leading international practitioners, including: Chris Baird, Corporate Partner at DLA Piper in United Kingdom who focused on M&A processes and preliminary agreements, subscriptions and minority investments; Samuel Salako, Partner at Olajide Oyewole LLP, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Nigeria, who shared knowledge on due diligence as it pertains to M&A; Peter Bradshaw, Location Head of Corporate for DLA Piper in South Africa, who focused his discussion on warranties, indemnities and insurance; and, Ashley Zefira, Corporate Senior legal consultant at DLA Piper in Dubai, who presented on purchase price.
Olajide Oyewole LLP, DLA Piper Africa member firm in Nigeria, regularly advises on M&A transactions and the firm is uniquely placed – specifically on the African continent –to offer professional training and client training programs for the enhancement of knowledge in this field.