Willem Jacobs

Willem Jacobs

Practice Head, Director

Willem Jacobs is a Director and Head of our Corporate & Commercial practice, leading a team of nearly 100-strong commercial lawyers. Willem also serves on the firm's Executive, Fincom and Africom 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 Retailability, a group with over 400 retail stores in Southern Africa, in respect of its acquisition from Edcon (in business rescue) of approximately 130 Edgars retail stores in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, eSwatini and Lesotho, including extensive due diligence (2020/2021).
  • Advised Actis and Harborough on the disposal by Harborough of Ghana Home Loans Bank – circa GH¢161,202,078 (2020).
  • Advised Tiso Blackstar on the disposal of Gallo Music Investments and Indigenous Film Distribution to Arena (Lebashe Investments) - circa ZAR 75 million (2020).
  • Advised Lereko Metier Capital Growth Fund II, LMCGF II Parallel Trust, Metier Capital Growth Fund II Partnership, MCGF II Investments and RMB Ventures in a complex set of transactions in terms of which certain existing shareholders in Vox Telecoms exited and certain new shareholders were introduced through a combination of share repurchases, new subscriptions and the conversion of preference shares into ordinary shares - circa ZAR 2.5 billion (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 2014–2022 ranked Willem in Band 2 for Corporate/M&A: Private Equity
  • Chambers Global 2022 ranked Willem in Band 3 for Corporate/M&A.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2016-2022 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 and 2022 recommended Willem 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
  • Registered with the Legal Practice Council