Canal Sugar’s USD 700 million multi-tranche syndicated financing awarded Best Structured Finance Deal in North Africa at the EMEA Finance Achievement Awards 2021
Baker McKenzie has acted as international and local counsel to the lenders on the USD 700 million Canal Sugar financing transaction, winner of the "Best Structured Finance Deal in North Africa" at the EMEA Finance Achievement Awards 2021.
The team acted as English, Egyptian and UAE legal counsel to the lenders in relation to the financing of Canal Sugar’s project for the development of a large-scale agricultural farm (approximately 188,000 acres) in Minya, Egypt. The project will produce, amongst other things, beet sugar; combined with a sugar beet processing plant with a production capacity of 937,000 metric tons of refined white sugar, and additional by-products capacity for molasses and beet pulp. The syndication was led by National Bank of Egypt and includes Qatar National Bank Al Ahli, African Export-Import Bank, Banque du Caire, Suez Canal Bank, the United Bank, Arab Investment Bank, Agricultural Bank of Egypt, Industrial Development Bank and Housing & Development Bank. The project, when fully operative, will be the largest beet sugar factory in the world. The transaction achieved financial close in April 2022.
Helmy, Hamza & Partners, Baker McKenzie Cairo, team was overseen by Managing Partner and Head of Projects Mohamed Ghannam and led by Counsel Victoria Long and Senior Associate Mohamed Elharmy and supported by Associates Ahmed Shehata and Khadija Eino. The Baker McKenzie team based in Dubai was led by Partner Sandeep Puri and supported by Sabina Passi (Senior Associate), Farah Abed (Associate) and Marilyn Acquah (Trainee Solicitor).
Commenting on the recognition of this important transaction, Mohamed Ghannam said: "We are delighted that this landmark project has been recognized by EMEA Finance. This project will be pivotal to the Egyptian economy, with an aim to bridge the gap between sugar production and consumption, meaning that cane sugar will be the first strategic commodity to achieve self-sufficiency in terms of production, creating many job opportunities in the process. Congratulations to our clients and other important stakeholders on winning these awards."
Michael Foundethakis, Chair of Baker McKenzie's Africa Steering Committee added, "This ground-breaking industrial and agricultural project in Egypt provides many benefits to local communities through increased employment opportunities and by reducing the country's reliance on imports. It is gratifying to see this client project being recognized by this prestigious award."
In the last year , Baker McKenzie has seen significant growth of its client base in the key strategic markets of the Maghreb and non-Francophone North Africa, as well as in Francophone West Africa, Anglophone West Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa and Lusophone Africa. Reaffirming its reputation as a transactional powerhouse in Africa, Baker McKenzie’s Africa-focused team also recently took home GFC Media Group’s Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Africa Award for Banking & Finance Legal Adviser of the Year 2021, as well as EMEA Finance African Banking Awards Best Law Firm in Africa Award for 2021. In April this year, an Africa-focused Baker McKenzie Banking & Finance team also advised on one of Global Trade Review's (GTR) Best Deals 2022 for the Aspen Pharmacare transaction. The Firm's impressive geographic coverage in Africa and global One Team approach means it is able to offer its clients in Africa solutions for a connected world.