Led by lawyers with decades of experience in international finance and global cross-border transactions, Lowenstein’s Africa practice advises startups, growth companies, mature companies, venture capital, growth equity and private equity funds, and other investors on sophisticated business transactions around the world with a focus on Africa, including equity capital raising, debt financing, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures.
We bring our deep knowledge and multidisciplinary approach to entity formation, fundraises, and exit strategies for funds and companies, providing counsel on growth and investment for nonprofits, NGOs, high net worth individuals, and family offices involved in transactions with a nexus to Africa or doing business with entities in countries on the African continent. Our team understands the nuances and complexities of navigating across international borders, and conducting transactions across language and cultural differences entrepreneurs around the globe trust us to provide the market connectivity and strategic guidance they need to bring their ideas to fruition. Investors rely on our commitment to client service, our wealth of experience, and our connections throughout individual markets.
Our lawyers have worked on transactions, including several valued in the hundreds of millions and billions of dollars, in almost every major and regional market in Africa, including but not limited to:
- South Africa
Lowenstein’s capabilities in Africa are enhanced by our strengths in certain core areas, including our:
- Years of handling venture capital, growth equity and tech M&A transactions (in up markets and down markets), and of representing emerging and mature tech companies, as well as their investors (including in forming and launching funds and handling compliance matters) across multiple practice areas (tech transactions/commercial agreements, patents, privacy, data protection, debt deals and credit agreements, trademarks, litigation, employment, tax, executive compensation and benefits, internal investigations, and securities offerings, among others)
- International reputation in private equity deals with large, middle-market, and growth equity financial sponsors and their portfolio companies across a wide range of industries
- Extensive network and history of collaboration with highly regarded law firms across the continent, including the most rapidly growing markets in Africa, where we have been working for years to help build robust ecosystems of commerce, legislation, and prosperity and where we leverage our “Best Friend” relationships with multiple best-in-class local firms
- Dynamic and culturally proficient understanding of local business practices and international norms
- Broad experience in global trade policy and regulations, which enable us to guide clients through the myriad of ever changing domestic and foreign regulations on sanctions, foreign direct investment, cross border transactions, global trade regulation, and export control, all through the lens of U.S. law.1
We have an extensive network of relationships across more than 22 African countries, where we converse in the languages of Arabic, Bari/Karo, English, Edo/Bini, French, Spanish, Twi/Akan Kasa and Yoruba.
We are a builder of communities and a connector of people. For years Lowenstein has supported the building of the innovation community around the world through our legal representation and events. Our VentureCrush platform, including VentureCrush Africa Global, provides support and connectivity to founders, investors, law makers and other interested parties through programs and events aimed at entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators who recognize the opportunities offered by burgeoning economies across the African continent and across the diaspora. We have also published on venture capital on the continent in, for instance, Forbes (see profile of the building of Ingressive Capital in Nigeria/Interview with Maya Horgan Famodu).
Lowenstein lawyers are also committed to pro bono work with an Africa nexus. Representative projects include:
- Establishing a comprehensive anticorruption program for Enfants du Benin Debout (EBD), a French nonprofit that uses sports, education, and culture to empower underprivileged youth in Benin, Central African Republic and Gabon; as well as advising on the establishment of charitable organization in the U.S. for EBD so that donors can make tax-deductible contributions to help it expand its programs throughout Africa
- Assessing the compatibility of Zambia’s national development plan with its human rights laws at the request of Caritas Zambia and United Nations Development Program Zambia
- Advising Amandla Development on establishing a charitable organization in the U.S. so that donors can make tax-deductible contributions to help it expand its programs throughout South Africa
- Reporting to the United Nations on issues faced by female students in rural Tanzania
- Assisting with the corporate formation of United Front Against Riverblindness, a nonprofit that advances the health and well-being of Congolese people living with riverblindness and other major neglected tropical diseases
Lowenstein is committed to contributing holistically to Africa’s bright future.
1 Lowenstein Sandler LLP is only admitted to practice in the United States. We do not practice law outside the States but maintain strong relationships with local counsel across the globe.