Deon Wilken

Deon Wilken


Deon Wilken is a Director in our Finance & Banking practice, He is a finance and banking law specialist with several years of banking and finance law experience, Deon has assisted numerous financiers and borrowers in debt raising transactions in the project, export and acquisition finance fields. Deon's other areas of expertise are Financial Markets & Securities Law and Banking Law and Credit Law.

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Deon began his career at Adams & Adams as a Candidate Attorney in 1998 in the Commercial and Tax department. In 1999, Deon moved to Cliffe Dekker Fuller Moore. He was made an Associate in 2000. Deon was promoted to Senior Associate in 2001. In 2003, Deon was made a Director at Cliffe Dekker Inc, now Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr in 2008.

Most recently Deon has:

  • Represented the BEE Shareholder in refinancing its DFI facilities with inflation linked debt in the R150 million Kalkbult Solar Project. Advising the BEE Shareholder on the sale of its interests in 2 other REIPPP round 1 solar parks;
  • Advised the Lender to a R100 million water pipe production facility project financed, in Rustenburg;
  • Represented a broad range of sponsors and banks in syndicated project financings for several of the renewable energy projects in South Africa’s independent power producers programme, including –
  • a ZAR2,0 billion 138 MW Wind Farm in Cookhouse South Africa;
  • a 7 MW photovoltaic electricity generation park near Rustenburg in South Africa;
  • a 10MW hydro facility in the Northern Cape.
  • Deon also worked on a refinancing of a REIPPP round 1 concentrated PV solar park in the Western Cape (bond refinancing);
  • Advised Senior Lender to 5MW solar PV plant under the Namibian feed in tariff scheme;
  • Deon advised the Lenders to a project financing for the construction of a 38MW gas fired power plant in Mozambique and the ZAR 200 million upgrade of the gas pressure reduction station;
  • Deon advised Lenders on R105 million project financed Energy Recovery Plant utilising process water from mining activities passed through an Organic Rankine Cycle Plant to generate electrical power.
  • Advised Lonmin on its USD800 million equity recapitalisation and full debt refinancing and restructuring in 2012 and 2015
  • Advised Atlatsa Resources on ZAR2,3 billion debt restructuring with Anglo Platinum
  • Advised Sephaku Cement, the first domestic entrant into South Africa’s cement market in more than 70 years, in its ZAR1.95bn debt funding for its R3.4bn project financed cement plant and grinding facility project near Delmas, South Africa
  • Advised a consortium of banks led by Danske Bank regarding the refinancing by Dolphin International AS, a subsidiary of Fred. Olsen Energy ASA, of existing credit facilities of up to USD 1,5 billion backed by ECA's : GIEK/Eksportfinans on South African legal aspects and security regime
  • Advised lenders and sponsors on several Private Equity transactions including acting for Carlyle in its acquisition financing of Tiger Wheel and Tyre and J&J Transport, and Investec Bank on funding private equity deals to acquire Itec, Venture Health and Branch Engineering businesses
  • Advised Komatsu Finance on the R1.5 billion asset based finance facility linked to the Boikarabelo Coal Mine.

Other Experience

  • Advised Investec as financier to the sponsor BEE shareholder in the Mototolo Platinum Group Metals joint venture project between Xstrata and Anglo American - ZAR1,36 billion
  • Advised Lonmin regarding the raising of syndicated financing facilities in respect of the acquisition of the equity and business of Messina Platinum Mine – USD300 million
  • Advised Lonmin as vendor financier to the consortium of purchasers of Incwala Platinum, a BEE diversified minerals company - USD650  million
  • Advised Lonmin regarding the financing of the DealMakers 'Deal of the Year', announced March 2005. The highly complex transaction between Lonmin and Impala Platinum resulted in the formation of the ZAR3,9bn empowerment mining house, Incwala Resources
  • Advised RMB regarding the project financing of sugar mill project in Swaziland - ZAR200 million
  • Advised Transnet on its ZAR25 billion umbrella multicurrency ECA finance facility forming part of a ZAR78 billion capital expenditure and expansion programme (LMA Documents under English Law) for rail and ports development
  • Advised Transnet on its USD250 million l/c facility for capital expenditure and expansion programme (LMA Documents under English Law)
  • Advised Lonmin on the ZAR900 million preference share refinancing undertaken by its BEE shareholder, Incwala Platinum
  • Advised Standard Bank regarding the Smokey Hills Project in the Limpopo Province, a greenfields platinum project financed transaction with debt funding of ZAR320 million
  • Advised French multinational on its USD20 million COFACE covered Credit Agreement with BNP Paribas in respect of financing of Sigma plants at the LionOre site in Francistown, Botswana
  • Advised Standard Bank in respect of a ZAR130 million project financed coal facility sponsored by the Royal Bafokeng in Mpumalanga
  • Advised local bank regarding its project financing of an AngloGold Ashanti Mine in Bibiani Goldfields, Ghana - USD15 million
  • Advised Harmony on project financing of Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea – USD200,000,000
  • Advising Rand Merchant Bank regarding a USD50 million ECA (ECIC) backed credit line and framework agreement for an Angolan Commercial Bank to finance an undersea telecommunications cable project in Angola;
  • Advised Anooraq on ZAR2,6 billion BEE deal with Anglo Platinum (LMA styled documents under South African law) project financed with leveraged finance aspects
  • Advising BEE partner in Richards Bay Minerals BEE ZAR4,0 billion financing transaction (LMA styled documents under South African law), acquisition funding with combination of debt and preference shares
  • Advised the International Finance Corporation regarding an R85 million Tier II Capital loan to Sasfin Bank Limited
  • Advised Pamodzi regarding funding of acquisition of stake in Boxmore Plastics for R185 million
  • Advised Drs Du Buisson, Kramer, Swart, Bouwer Incorporated regarding funding of acquisition of stake in Ampath Holdings Trust for R850 million
  • Advised Harmony on funding for capital expansion facilities of R2 billion
  • Advised Harmony Gold on USD300 million syndicated debt facilities for expansion of Wafi Golpu mining project in Papua New Guinea
  • Advised Nedbank, Investec and Standard Bank regarding funding of design, construction, erection and commissioning of sugar mill coupled with a 25 MW electric co-generation plant in Swaziland for ZAR940,000
  • Acted as local counsel for lenders in establishing security structures and registering local security


  • Deon advised a local major bank regarding the rolling out of various derivative products in 12 African jurisdictions. Advice consisted of preparing the jurisdictional questionnaire, appointing local counsel in each jurisdiction, managing local counsel in responding to questionnaire, arranging follow-up consultations and clarifying responses received, formulating a risk matrix per jurisdiction in respect of multiple commodity, equity and other derivative products in Africa.
  • Deon has experience in advising clients on the negotiation of the Schedule to the ISDA Master Agreement, and confirmations thereunder.
  • Deon has advised clients on composite transactions involving both derivatives and stock lending transactions under the master GMSLA Agreement and Schedule and confirmations thereunder.
  • Deon has advised “participants” under the Security Services Act in regard to the safe custody and settlement of securities transactions on the listed equity and debt main boards of the stock exchange.
  • Advising CSDP regarding the T+3 Project and mitigating settlement risks.
  • Advising CSDP on dematerialised equities shortfall and surplus treatment for purposes of trust property.
  • Advising major banks and pension funds on all aspects of securities lending and structuring of collateral arrangements.
  • Advising BEE fund on zero cost collar and linked funding arrangements.
  • Advised borrower funded by CPI debt provided by a fund established by an asset manager.
  • Chambers Global 2014–2023 ranked him in Band 3 for Banking & Finance. In 2020 Deon was ranked in band 4.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2013–2023 recommended him for Banking & Finance.
  • IFLR1000 2014–2015, 2017 to 2020 and 2022 ranked Deon as highly regarded leading lawyer for Capital markets: Debt, and for Project finance.


  • BA (Law) LLB LLM (Commercial and Tax), University of Stellenbosch
  • Year of admission as an attorney: 2000
  • Registered with the Legal Practice Council