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Finance and Projects

Our finance and projects team in South Africa advises on all aspects of financing, across borders, sectors and financial products. We have a track record of successfully delivering first-rate legal services in all segments of the infrastructure and energy industries. 

We have experience in transactions involving lending and borrowing, debt securities, derivatives, financial services regulatory, alternative funds and portfolios. 

Our projects knowhow extends to project finance, public procurement, regulatory issues, environmental and construction and engineering law. Our lawyers understand the commercial, strategic, technical, geographical and political factors that shape and impact these industries, as well as the business issues and risks inherent when working in these sectors. We have represented consortia, promoters, sponsors, investment funds and banks. 

With one of the largest teams of dedicated finance and projects lawyers in the world and an established presence in Africa, we assist our South African and international clients in developing and realizing their financial strategies and projects in whichever markets they do business. 

Our team's particular areas of focus are:

  • Debt capital markets
  • Derivatives
  • Infrastructure finance
  • Public-private partnerships (PPP)
  • Renewables
  • Transport
  • Water and waste

Experience has included advising:

  • The borrower in respect of loan facilities valued at ZAR1.15 billion provided by two major South African banks.
  • The lead arranger in respect of the refinancing of a major South African BEE investment funds' ZAR1.8 billion debt funding.
  • The lead arranger on behalf of a consortium of lenders in respect of guarantee facilities to be provided to certain oil marketing companies in Mozambique in relation to the procurement of refined petroleum products.
  • The lender in respect of financing of the acquisition of more than 50% of a renewable energy project.
  • The lead arranger in respect of a ZAR2 billion facility of a major South African mine.
  • The borrower in relation to a USD26 million facility made available by a Mauritian bank for the acquisition of an energy company in Central Africa.
  • The lender in relation to an export credit backed facility for a roads and transportation project in Ghana.
  • The lender in relation to the restructuring of certain debt terms provided to a major copper mining company in Zambia.
  • The lenders in relation to the project financing of a mineral sands project in Tanzania.
  • The lender / purchaser in relation to a prepayment facility for the purchase of coal from a South African coal mining company.
  • Chambers Global (2019-2020) - Ranked in Banking & Finance. A client highlighted that "DLA Piper stands out in terms of knowledge and experience, and is the best at delivering quality service promptly."  Interviewees praise the firm for "its nimbleness and the fact it is able to provide sound advice quickly."
  • Legal500 (2018-2020) – Ranked in Banking & Finance.  Sources say ‘While all firms employ smart people, DLA Piper’s team is diverse, diligent, responsive to client’s needs and a pleasure to work with on a daily basis.

A step forward for energy security in South Africa

On 10 June 2021, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced amendments to schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act (ERA) in terms of which, amongst other things, embedded generation projects with a capacity of up to 100 MW will become exempt from being required to be licensed with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).

Will we see authorised crypto providers?

On 20 November 2020 the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) published a draft declaration relating to crypto assets (including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum).