G Elias & Co

Nigeria

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Energy and infrastructure

G Elias & Co is the Nigerian member of the Africa Legal Network, and as such are the preferred choice of several international firms. The team comes highly recommended and has been involved in some interesting projects over the course of the last year. The firm is particularly strong in infrastructure development.

An international client teh firm advises on project development applauds its “resourcefulness and reliability”. Another from a financial institution the firm helped with a PPA for a traditional energy project summarises praises the team for its “accessibility, depth of team, legal innovation, promptness of reply and accuracy.” 

Name partner Gbolahan Elias is singled out for much individual praise. “He has been very professional and his advice is excellent”, says one. “An A grade lawyer,” remarks another. 

A highlight has the team advising Benchmark Power International, an Egyptian company, on the local law elements of a deal to supply power to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company by means of a 2300MW thermal plant, as well as a proposed 450MW IPP (independent power project) in Kogi State. A further energy project sees the team acting on behalf of Greenpark Petrochemical Company in connection to a 550MW electricity development in Benin.

Infrastructure development work for the firm includes acting for Rendeavour Jigna in connection with a 700 hectare development of a new town in Federal Capital Territory, and assisting Kaizen Properties on the development of a 25 storey residential building in Lagos.

Financial and corporate

Leading Nigerian firm G Elias & Co has been a member of the African Legal Network since 2014. Excellent across the board, the firm specialises in M&A, banking and capital markets, but offers a full service outside of the financial and corporate capacity and within a number of divergent sectors including financial services, oil-and-gas, energy, telecommunications, agribusiness, food and healthcare. 

An in house counsel at a Nigerian based commercial bank, that worked with the firm on an acquisition finance deal, says: “G Elias & Co has demonstrated good technical skills on the work that we have done together recently, their assessment of issues and legal opinion have been of immense value to the success of these transactions.” Another, from a capital markets company, strongly recommends the firm: “They have excellent technical skills and great customer service, they are particularly useful in complex transactions that have no straightforward solution.” Managing partner Gbolahan Elias is recommended by both, with the former saying: “Despite being the principal partner you can see that he takes his time to be on top of all matters coming out of the firm. He is technically sound, and his opinions are on point.” 

A representative transaction for the banking and finance department saw it, working opposite Latham & Watkins, offer advice to Standard Chartered Bank and United Bank for Africa in respect of the refinancing of petroleum product imports by a crude forward sale financing with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, valued at around $1.5 billion. Working again with Latham & Watkins and for the same bank, the firm also advised on the $1.2 billion financing for the NNPC/Chevron Debt Programme, designed to finance the drilling of new wells. Another refinancing saw the firm act for FBN Capital and a syndicate of lenders in connection with the first restructuring under a public-private partnership (PPP) for the Lekki Toll Road concession, the first toll road in the country. 

In capital markets the firm was counsel to the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company, as it issued a large Naira denominated programme. The issuance will be the first phase of its refinancing and credit enhancement transaction, and will enable it to acquire mortgage loans in the domestic market. This was the first such deal of its kind by a secondary mortgage firm. The firm also assisted the local government of Cross River, a state in Southern Nigeria bordering Cameroon to the east, with, among other similar issuances, its N30 billion bond issuance. 

In what was one of the largest M&A transactions of the last year in Nigeria, the firm worked for the Tolaram Group as it entered into a joint venture with the Kellogg’s Group to acquire a 50% stake in Nigerian based Multipro Consumer Products for $450 million, as the global group looks to expand into West Africa. Another transaction in the corporate space saw the firm represent the seller Gruppo Investment Nigeria and the target company Paragon Mall SPV, with the sale of the Ikeja City Mall by means of a sale of shares to new shareholders. The team also acted on several mergers, including that of Aso Savings and Loans and Union Homes Savings and Loans in the finance sector, and Transcorp Ughelli Power and Ughelli Power in the energy sector.