Lilia Franca

Lilia Franca


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

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

In 2011 she was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales.

Lilia has served on the firm's Recruitment Committee and is presently a member of the firm's Financial Committee.

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

Advised Lebashe, a black-owned investment vehicle, on its acquisition of media, broadcasting and content businesses in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria from Tiso Blackstar Group SE. The media businesses acquired include, amongst others, large print titles such as the Sunday Times, the Business Day and the Sowetan. Deal value: ZAR1.05 billion

Advised Northam Platinum, a platinum miner listed on the JSE, in a number of transactions including in respect of:

  • its 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. This transaction was awarded Deal of the Year 2015 by DealMakers.
  • 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
  • its acquisition of the Eland Platinum Mine from Glencore and its JV partner. Deal value: R175 million

Advised Italtile Limited, a ceramics company listed on the JSE, in relation to a BEE transaction with Yard Investment Holdings involving the acquisition of 2% of Italtile.  Deal value: ZAR312 million

Advised EOH Holdings Limited, a technology company listed on the JSE, in respect of its BEE Transaction, coupled with a ZAR1 billion equity capital raising. Deal value: ZAR1 billion

Advised Capitec Bank, a bank listed on the JSE, in respect of the restructuring of its BEE transaction. Deal value: R1.1 billion

Advised 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

Advised Sovereign Foods, a poultry producer listed on the main board of the JSE (now delisted), 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. This deal was nominated for DealMakers Private Equity Deal of the Year, 2017.
  • its successful defence of a hostile takeover offer by Country Bird. Deal value: R619 million

Advised 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: R12billion
  • the listing and private placement of new preference shares. Deal value: R1.5 billion

Advised Puma Energy, a global provider of fuels, lubricants and other oil products, in respect of a number of transactions in Africa including:

  • its acquisition of Total Lesotho and its business operations including various petroleum retail sites

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

Advised Remgro Limited, an investment holding company listed on the JSE, regarding its acquisition of the spreads business in Southern Africa from Unilever plc. Deal value: ZAR7 billion

Advised Robertsons, a wholly owned subsidiary of Remgro Limited, regarding the disposal of its 25,75% stake in Unilever South Africa to Unilever plc. Deal value: ZAR4.9 billion

Advised Reinet Investments SCA in respect of the acquisition of a diamond mine from De Beers.

Advised RCL Foods, a foods company listed on the JSE in respect of its capital raising and acquisitions involving:

  • a fully underwritten R3.9 billion rights offer to shareholders the 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

Advised Brait on it's restructuring and capital raising transaction involving:

  • the listing of new shares on the LuxSE and the JSE pursuant to a R5.9billion 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
  • Legal 500 EMEA 2017-2020 recommended Lilia in commercial, corporate/M&A.
  • Named in IFLR1000 2016 for her work as lead partner on a number of 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
  • Enrolled with the Legal Practice Council


  • Law Society of England and Wales