By: Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH)
Advising on 69 M&A deals in 2018, business law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) accounted for 24% of market share over the period. It is this impressive flow of deals, totalling R55 billion in value, which saw CDH recognised by DealMakers as the law firm that has advised on the most M&A deals in South Africa for the tenth consecutive year at the annual DealMakers Awards held on 19 February 2019.
CDH also clinched the coveted M&A Deal Value Award, the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Award for Deal Value (the firm came second for M&A deal flow in this category) and the Catalyst Private Equity Deal of the Year – in which Partner Dave Pinnock advised Vumatel and its shareholders on the multi-billion-rand disposal of the equity in Vumatel to CIVH through two consecutive transactions.
Brent Williams, CEO at CDH, says that while a decade of M&A deal flow wins undoubtedly demonstrates the firm’s consistent, the suite of accolades CDH received last night are fitting testament to the firm’s belief that partnering with its clients can lead to great things. “We offer our clients a balanced combination of excellence in practice and value for money. This allows us to do both large and smaller deals, and means that our experience base spans a wealth of different deal profiles,” says Williams.
Speaking about the BEE Award for Deal Value, Williams says that the recognition demonstrates CDH’s commitment to meaningful and successful transformation. He points to the R16.4 billion BEE transaction between Vodacom Group and YeboYethu, which marks the largest BEE deal in the ICT sector to date, as an example of CDH’s expertise in the space.
“The partnerships we cherish and value most are those we have forged through time and experience with our clients and, of course, our people. The pioneering YeboYethu deal is testament to this and is a tribute to the 10-year-long journey that Vodacom, YeboYethu and CDH have walked together, to provide better opportunities for South Africans and drive transformation.”
Regarding the future of the industry and the year ahead, Director and National Head of CDH’s Corporate and Commercial practice, Willem Jacobs, believes that deals of this nature continue to be critical for driving greater economic inclusion.
“Leveraging the excellent sectoral expertise and long-standing experience of CDH’s close on 100-strong team of lawyers within the M&A practice area, we will continue to grow the firm’s presence in South Africa and the African region as a whole, and remain committed to providing clients with value for their legal spend (in terms of predictability, efficiency and cost effectiveness) while maintaining the highest levels of service delivery.”
DealMakers track all M&A deals and corporate finance transactions entered into by South African listed companies. Their Annual Awards Dinner is now in its 18th year and honours advisory excellence in the M&A industry.