London, 14 December 2006 – LAWFUEL – Middle East Business + Law News – Baker & McKenzie has advised Mercury (Egypt) Pharmaceutical Manufacturing SAE (Mercury) and its shareholders on the US$459 million acquisition of a 93 percent stake in Amoun Pharmaceutical Co. (Amoun), bringing Mercury’s holding in Amoun to 98.8 percent. Mercury had already acquired a 5.8 percent stake in Amoun through a public tender offer which closed on 19 November 2006 (on which Baker & McKenzie also advised). The Prime Minister of Egypt, Dr Ahmed Nazif, attended the signing.
Mercury is an investment vehicle backed by an international consortium of US and international private equity investors, led by Citigroup Venture Capital International (CVCI), Capital International Private Equity Fund IV (CIPEF) and Concord International Investments.
Baker & McKenzie fielded an international team that was jointly led by partners Richard Blunt from London and Mohamed Ghannam from Cairo. The team offered a combination of local Egyptian knowledge and experience with London market expertise and resources, which was attributed to as the key to the success of the transaction.
Richard Blunt, lead partner, London, commented: “We are delighted to have acted for the investors on this complex and significant deal. We believe that the manner in which the various challenges faced by the team were overcome pays testament both to the professionalism of the joint client team and the close working relationships between the London and Cairo office lawyers. The transaction demonstrates our ability to deliver complex and difficult deals for investors in emerging markets to an international standard.”
Mohamed Ghannam, lead partner, Cairo, said: “This transaction is one of the largest ever private equity transactions in the Egyptian market. We expect its successful implementation to boost the confidence of potential private equity investors in the Egyptian market; we are already seeing extremely strong interest in a number of industry sectors – both from US/European funds and from the Gulf.”
In addition to Richard and Mohamed, the corporate team included associates Chris Chambers, Seumus O’Gorman and Philomena Pacheco from London; and Ghada El Ehwany, Khaled Moussa and Karim Youssef from Cairo. On the banking side, London finance partners Bernard Sharp and Nick Tostivin, working with Mohamed Ghannam, were assisted by Lamyaa Gadelhak (Cairo) and Matthew Padian (London).