Abdulai Taiwo & Co is a well-respected member of the Nigerian legal scene, with a good offering across the spectrum of financial and corporate law. The firm is active in the areas of corporate M&A, project finance and public–private partnerships (PPPs), regular banking, capital markets and dispute resolution. The firm is strongest on corporate matters.
The firm works regularly with the African Development Bank, one of the first firms to do so, and was instrumental in assisting with the legal requirements to establish a new national stock exchange, known as the Abuja Commodities Exchange.
Leaving the fold this year were Harrison Emmanuel, partner in the banking and finance and corporate commercial divisions, who left to join an agricultural company; and senior associate Ejoke Oghene who relocated to Canada.
The firm is busiest in the projects space, rather than pure banking work, and a highlight transaction saw the team act on aspects of the asset finance facility extended to Abuja Electricity Distribution. In projects, a highlight saw the firm work for indigenous set up The Infrastructure Bank as finance arranger to the project sponsor for the Enugu City Water Work Improvement. The project was financed by means of a PPP through a build-operate-transfer (BOT) concession and was the first state sponsored waterworks project in Nigeria. The firm is also working with the project sponsor of the Marina Quayside Strip Development, an ongoing PPP project in Lagos that will regenerate the waterfront area.
Active across the debt and equity capital markets space, the firm is again working with regular client The Infrastructure Bank on the private placement of 10 billion shares at a yet-to-be determined price, to selected development finance institutions. In equity the firm represented Meristem Trustees as trustees on the IPO of the Money Market Fund by Afrinvest Asset Management.
It was a quiet year for the M&A practice, one client was Procter & Gamble (P&G) who the firm advised with the due diligence, including share re-structuring and hive-off, of Duracell Batteries business and assets, to Newco, as part of the global sale of Duracell to Berkshire Hathaway.