24 March 2010

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr ranked first in M&A legal advisor rankings by Ernst & Young

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr ranked first in M&A legal advisor rankings by Ernst & Young - following first place in DealMakers M&A rankings for 2009

Leading business law firm, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, was ranked No 1 Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) legal advisor in the Ernst & Young round up of M&A activity for 2009, announced today (24 March 2010).

This accolade follows on the heels of the law firm's significant performance in the DealMakers awards last month in which Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr was ranked first in M&A deal flow activity for 70 deals valued at R31,5bn, giving it a market share of more than 23% of the total number of M&A transactions recorded by DealMakers in 2009. Its nearest rival had 46 deals for the year.

According to Ernst & Young, the largest successful deal in 2009 was a buyout in the property sector in which the Redefine Income Fund bought ApexHi Properties and Ambit, creating the second largest listed property loan stock. Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr acted for Ambit in the transaction.

The law firm also advised on several of the largest BEE deals last year including advising Tiger Brands and Mvelaphanda on their BEE transactions. Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr further advised on both major private equity transactions of 2009, acting for INM Outdoor and Casinos Austria.

According to Ian Hayes, National Head of the firm's Corporate and Commercial practice group, these successes underline an impressive first full year of operation since Cliffe Dekker and Hofmeyr, Herbstein and Gihwala merged in September 2008 to form Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr.

"Ernst & Young and DealMakers apply totally different criteria for their rankings. That we did so well in both reinforces that Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is recognised as the number one ranked law firm for M&A transactions," Hayes said.

"The volume of transactions we advised on last year shows the strength of our client base and underscores our clients' confidence in the capabilities of our team of more than 50 qualified M&A lawyers. We advised on two deals shortlisted for the 2009 Deal of the Year - Metorex and Tiger Brands BEE transaction - and we have been the legal advisors to four of the transactions selected by DealMakers magazine as Deal of the Year over the last decade."

With more than 50 qualified M&A lawyers in South Africa, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has one of the largest corporate law practices in South Africa. The firm's core M&A deal team also includes practitioners from other practice groups with experience in finance and banking, competition, tax, intellectual property, employee incentives, pension and real estate.

Working seamlessly together, the firm's corporate M&A lawyers are able to coordinate complex transactions, deal with regulatory requirements, advise on tax matters, manage due diligence investigations and prepare all documentation.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's alliance with the global DLA Piper group also means the firm has the depth and breadth of legal resources to advise on M&A transactions at both local and international level and is able to offer experience and insights drawn from 29 countries, so their clients benefit from a vast amount of international M&A experience.

For more information, contact:

Ian Hayes, Director/National Practice Head: Corporate and Commercial, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc.

Bev Wright, Head: Marketing and Communication, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc.
T +27 (0)11 290 7167; M 082 454 7797; E bev.wright@dlacdh.com

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