Willem Jacobs

Willem Jacobs

National Practice Head, Director

Willem Jacobs is a Director and National Head of our Corporate & Commercial practice, leading a team of nearly 100-strong commercial lawyers. Willem also serves on the firm's Executive and Compensation Committees. As evidenced through market recognition, Willem is regarded as one of South Africa's foremost M&A specialists. Willem’s areas of expertise are corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, private equity, black economic empowerment transactions, and structuring and restructuring of businesses.

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  • Advised Vox Holdings on the repurchase of IEP and Investec's respective stakes in Vox Holdings (2019)
  • Advised Metier Capital Growth Fund II and Rand Merchant Bank in the recapitalisation and restructuring of the shareholding structure of Vox Holdings in partnership with management (2019)
  • Advised Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital Fund Trust on its acquisition of an interest in Tecroveer Holdings and Becon Watertech (2019)
  • Advised Tiso Blackstar Group in respect of Lebashe's acquisition of Tiso Blackstar's media, broadcasting and content businesses in South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya – circa US$71 million (2019)
  • Advised Séché Environnement in its take private acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of South African waste management company, Interwaste Holdings - circa US$40 million (2019)
  • Advised Metier Capital Growth Fund II and MCGF II Investments, in their take private acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of South African packaging company, Master Plastics - circa US$18.9 million (2018).
  • Advised YeboYethu, the main broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) shareholder of Vodacom, in a BEE deal, in terms of which the current shareholders in Vodacom's 2008 BEE deal reinvested their equity for a further 10 years and geared that equity to acquire greater exposure to Vodacom - circa US$1.2 billion (2018)
  • Advised Investec Bank on the disposal of its private equity portfolio (some 16 investments) to a special purpose vehicle, Investec Equity Partners, which is owned by Investec Bank, management and several strategic investors - circa ZAR7.6 billion (2017)
  • Advised Liquid Telecoms on its acquisition of Neotel - circa ZAR6.55 billion (2016)
  • Advised Steinhoff International Holdings Limited on a scheme of arrangement in terms of which Genesis International Holdings N.V. (renamed Steinhoff International Holdings N.V.) acquired the entire issued share capital of Steinhoff International Holdings Limited in a share-for-share transaction, and the subsequent listing of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. on the Frankfurt and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges (2015)
  • Advised Steinhoff International Holdings in relation to its partial offer to the shareholders of JDGroup to acquire an additional 26,2% interest in JD Group in exchange for shares in KAP International Holdings - circa ZAR1.89 billion (2015)
  • Advised Industrial Partnership Investments on its disposal to TSB Sugar Holdings of a 76% stake in RCL Foods, and the subsequent acquisition by RCL Foods from TSB Sugar Holdings of 100% of the issued ordinary shares in TSB Sugar RSA and TSB Sugar International (2014)
  • Advised Steinhoff International Holdings on its acquisition of Pepkor Holdings - circa ZAR62.8 billion (2014)
  • Advised Steinhoff International Holdings on the acquisition from CH Wiese, Mayfair Speculators and Thembeka Capital of 20% of the issued shares in PSG Group - circa ZAR1.62 billion (2012)
  • Advised Steinhoff International Holdings on the acquisition of 99,98% of the issued shares in Conforama Holdings - circa €1.207 billion (2011)
  • Advised Tiso Group on its merger with Kagiso Trust Investments to form Kagiso Tiso Holdings, a major black economic empowerment investment holding company with a net asset value of approximately ZAR8 billion (2009).
  • Chambers Global 2014–2019 ranked Willem in Band 2 for corporate/M&A.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2016-2020 listed Willem as a 'leading individual' for commercial, corporate and M&A and he was also recommended in 2012–2016 for mining, commercial, corporate and M&A.
  • IFLR1000 2011–2015, 2017 to 2020 recommended him as a leading lawyer for M&A and private equity.
  • Who’s Who Legal 2019 ranked Willem as a leading lawyer in M&A and Governance.
  • Who’s Who Legal 2017 and 2018 ranked Willem as a leading lawyer in M&A.
  • Willem was identified as a leading lawyer by The International Who’s Who of Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyers 2014 and was identified in The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2014.


  • BCom Law, LLB, Dip (Insolvency), HDip (Tax), University of Johannesburg
  • Year of admission as an attorney: 1997
  • Enrolled with the Legal Practice Council