Lilia Franca

Lilia Franca


Lilia Franca is a Director in our Corporate and Commercial practice. Lilia specialises in mergers and acquisitions (both local and cross border), capital markets work and BEE transactions in the listed environment. Her clients include Northam Platinum, One Capital, Capitec Bank Holdings, Sovereign Foods, Capitalworks, Brait, RCL Foods, Evraz, Puma Energy and Prudential.

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After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand, Lilia began her career as a researcher to the Honourable Justice Ackermann at the Constitutional Court.

In 2004 Lilia began her articles at Hofmeyr Herbstein and Gihwala (now Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr) and was appointed as a Junior Associate in the firm's Corporate and Commercial practice in 2006. She was admitted as an Attorney of the high court in the same year.

Between 2004 and 2008 she lectured in Commercial Law at the University of the Witwatersrand.

She was later appointed as a Senior Associate in the firm's Corporate and Commercial practice in 2008 and became a Director of the firm in 2010.


Lilia has acted as lead partner on a number of listed and cross-border M&A and capital markets transactions including the following:

  • Advising Northam Platinum in respect of:
  • its acquisition of the Eland Platinum Mine from Glencore and its JV partner. Deal value: R175 million
  • the disposal (through Mvelaphanda Resources) of its 7,5% stake in the Pandora Joint Venture to Eastern Platinum Limited.
  • its acquisition of a portion of the Amandelbult mineral resource and immovable property from Rustenburg Platinum Mines and the disposal of a portion of the Zondereinde mineral resource to Rustenburg Platinum Mines. Deal value: R1 billion
  • its acquisition of the Everest Platinum Mine from Aquarius Platinum (South Africa) Proprietary Limited. Deal value: R450 million
  • the disposal of its 20.3% shareholding in Trans Hex Group Limited, a diamond mining company listed on the main board of the JSE. Deal value: R82 million
  • a fully subscribed R600 million renounceable claw back rights offer to shareholders

  • Advising Sovereign Foods in respect of:
  • the offer by Capitalworks for all or a portion of the issued shares in Sovereign Foods, by way of a scheme of arrangement and a general offer and the delisting of Sovereign Foods from the main board of the JSE. Deal value: R907 million
  • its successful defence of a hostile takeover offer by Country Bird. Deal value: R619 million
  • its return of shareholder capital by way of a general repurchase and a new BEE transaction. Deal value: R85 million

  • Advising Atlatsa Resources, a mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the JSE, in respect of its disposal of the Kwanda North and Central Block prospecting rights to Anglo American Platinum and the debt restructuring of Atlatsa Resources. Deal value: R4.5 billion

  • Advising Capitec Bank Holdings, in respect of the restructuring of its BEE transaction.

  • Advising Capitalworks, a private equity fund, in respect of its takeover offer of Petmin, a mining company listed on the JSE, by a concurrent scheme of arrangement and general offer and the subsequent delisting of Petmin. Deal value: R894 million

  • Advising Brait, an investment holding company with its primary listing on the LuxSE and secondary listing on the JSE in respect of:
  • its cross-border acquisition of the Virgin Group. Deal value: R12 billion
  • the listing and private placement of new preference shares. Deal value: R1.5 billion
  • its acquisition of the shares held by minorities in Pepkor Holdings Limited. Deal value: R135 million

  • Advising Evraz, a steel producer listed on the LSE, in respect of:
  • its disposal of its 78.8% economic interest in Strategic Minerals Corporation to Bushveld Vametco Limited. Deal value: USD17 million
  • the disposal of its 34% equity stake in Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium Limited, a company listed on the main board of the JSE. Deal value: R289 million

  • Advising on Northam's BEE transaction and a fully underwritten capital raising by way of an IPO of preference shares in Zambezi Platinum and the listing of the preference shares on the JSE. Deal value: R6.6 billion

  • Advising Pan African Resources, a company with a dual listing on the AIM market of the LSE and on the JSE, on its equity capital raising effected by way of a fully underwritten rights offer to its shareholders on AIM and the JSE. Deal value: R750 million

  • Advising Harmony Gold, in respect of a BEE transaction involving the establishment of an employee share incentive scheme and a specific issue for cash. Deal value: R583 million

  • Advising DRDGOLD, in respect of its disposal of its shareholding in Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mining Company to Village Main Reef. Deal value: R150 million

  • Advising Puma Energy, in respect of:
  • the consolidation of its petroleum retail operations in Swaziland
  • its acquisition of petroleum fuels retail sites in South Africa

Lilia has also acted a co-lead partner on the following transactions:

  • Lonmin's:
  • capital raising by way of a rights offer, including the sub-division and subsequent consolidation of its share capital. Deal value: R6 billion
  • BEE transaction with the Bapo Community. Deal value: R664 million
  • R7 billion equity capital raising effected by way of a fully underwritten rights issue

  • RCL Foods' capital raising and acquisitions involving:
  • a fully underwritten R3.9 billion rights offer to shareholders
  • the acquisition of Foodcorp. Deal value: R1.6 billion
  • the acquisition of the entire shareholding in the operating subsidiaries of TSB Sugar. Deal value: R4 billion
  • various BEE transactions funded through a combination of notional vendor funding and preference share funding. Deal value: R1.1 billion
  • a pro rata subscription offer to minority shareholders in the amount of c. R1.3 billion

  • Brait's restructuring and capital raising transaction involving:
  • the listing of new shares on the LuxSE and the JSE pursuant to a R5.9 billion fully underwritten rights offer to its shareholders on the LuxSE and the JSE
  • a private placement of shares. Deal value: R500 million
  • the acquisition of a direct 24.6% stake in Pepkor plus a further 10.3% indirect stake through the subscription of preference shares in an SPV. Deal value: R5 billion
  • the acquisition of a direct 49% stake in Premier Foods. Deal value: R1 billion
  • Litha Healthcare's takeover offer by Paladin Labs Inc. and the delisting of Litha Healthcare from the JSE. Deal value: R1 billion
  • Legal 500 EMEA 2016-2019 recommended Lilia in commercial, corporate/M&A.
  • Lilia was named in IFLR1000 2016 for her work as lead partner on M&A transactions.


  • LLB HDip (Company Law) cum laude, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Year of admission as attorney: 2006
  • Year of admission as solicitor in England and Wales: 2011


  • Legal Practice Council
  • Law Society of England and Wales