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Getting The Deal Through

Charles Smith

Charles Smith


Charles is a partner in the Johannesburg office. 

His advises on all forms of corporate transactions (public takeovers, private acquisitions and disposals, mergers, joint ventures, restructurings, demergers, black economic empowerment transactions, listings and all forms of equity raises). He also advises more generally on company law, securities law (including market abuse and insider trading, prospectus requirements and the JSE Listings Requirements) and corporate governance.

He has advised a number of international trade and institutional investors on inward investments in the Southern African and wider African market places, as well as local South African investors on outward investments. His clients include local listed companies, multinationals, institutional investors, private equity houses and BEE investors.

His whole career has been spent at Bowmans, other than 2008 and 2009 when he practiced in London at one of the leading City law firms.

Relevant experience

  • Wescoal Holdings on its black economic empowerment transaction
  • Ubuntu-Botho Energy, Patrice Motsepe’s renewable energy investment vehicle, on its investment in Bill Gates’s US$1 billion clean energy fund, Breakthough Energy
  • Associated British Foods both on its initial partial offer for Illovo Sugar in 2005 and its subsequent 100% takeover in 2016
  • Standard Bank on the South African law aspects of its recapitalization of its UK joint venture, ICBC Standard Bank
  • Corialis (an Advent International owned company) on its entry into the South African market through the acquisition of Hinges and Hardware
  • African Rainbow Capital (Patrice Motsepe’s new financial services investment vehicle) on various strategic acquisitions and investments
  • SABMiller in respect of the combination of bottling operations of The Coca-Cola Company, SABMiller and Gutsche Family Investments’ (majority shareholders in Coca-Cola SABCO) in Southern and East Africa to create Coca-Cola Beverages Africa , forming the biggest bottler of soft drinks in Africa and the 10th largest in the world
  • The Independent Board of Digicore on Novotel Wireless’s takeover offer
  • MTN on the acquisition of the MTN subscriber base of Altech Autopage
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia on its entry in the South African market through the acquisition of Tyme Capital
  • The Independent Board of Control Instruments on Torre’s takeover offer
  • South American drug producer, CFR Pharmaceuticals, on its contested takeover bid for Adcock Ingram
  • Morgan Stanley as adviser to Massmart on Walmart’s partial offer for Massmart
  • Old Mutual on its aborted negotiations for the disposal of Nedbank to HSBC

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