Pomy Ketema

Pomy Ketema

Counsel
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Biography

Pomy advises clients on the tax aspects of US domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures, with an emphasis on deal structuring, due diligence, contract drafting and negotiations. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Pomy worked at a major international law firm and as in-house counsel at a global conglomerate.

Practice Focus

Pomy is a member of the Firm's Africa Advisory Board. She has a burgeoning practice in emerging Africa tax and transactional matters, leveraging her background from her US practice to deliver unique insights and innovative approaches in Africa-related transactions.

Transactions involving counterparties or companies in Africa must factor in the regulatory landscape and institutional capabilities for which the right resources must be deployed. Pomy's fluency in Amharic and time spent on the continent observing the workings of governmental institutions have given her an organic understanding of the dimensions that African transactions could bring. As exciting transactional opportunities emerge in Africa, Pomy's broad background is an asset in this space.

Representative Legal Matters

Representative experiences in the M&A space include (from prior employment):

  • A complex joint venture developing revolutionary technology that was eventually commercialized, including various rounds of preferred stock and debt financing, where venture value was enhanced through economic development incentives negotiated with a local government and innovation-related tax credits.

  • A reverse triangular merger involving a publicly-traded master limited partnership that owned a petrochemical plant valued at USD 2.5 billion.

  • Taxable and tax-free acquisitions of multiple companies by an insurance conglomerate, with some of the deals involving creeping acquisitions and complex S corporation issues.

  • Various cross-border deals involving acquisitions of gold and uranium mining companies, with one of the deals at USD 7 billion being the largest deal of its kind to date at the time.

  • Stock acquisition of a medical equipment start-up by one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world in a deal involving a combination of cash and earn-outs valued at USD 150 million.

  • A series of deals involving stock and asset acquisitions of seed technology companies by a global agri-business conglomerate.

  • Acquisitions and divestitures of biofuels and natural gas assets by large energy industry players in various combinations of stock and asset deals.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • African Energy Chamber
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Tax Institute Planning Committee (2005-2009)

Admissions

  • New York~United States (2019)
  • U.S. Tax Court~United States (2005)
  • Minnesota~United States (2001)

Education

  • University of Minnesota (MBT) (2001)
  • University of Minnesota Law School (JD cum laude) (1999)
  • University of St. Thomas (BA cum laude) (1994)

Languages

  • English
  • Amharic
  • Adjunct Faculty, University of Minnesota Law School, Practice and Professionalism (Track 2), Spring Semester 2010

  • Adjunct Faculty, William Mitchell College of Law, The Legal Practicum: Business Practice course, Business Planning Seminar I – Organization & Tax, Winter and Fall Semesters 2008, 2009

Presentations

  • Presenter, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators Africa Chapter Webinar, "Eastern & Southern African Oil & Gas Markets: Financing the Recovery," September 2020

  • Co-presenter, The 69th Minnesota State Bar Association Tax Institute, Successor Liability for Taxes in Acquisitions Involving Financially Distressed Companies, December 2009

  • Co-presenter, University of St. Thomas Law School, A Town Hall Forum on the National Financial Crises, Panel One: The Bailout - Examining the Legislative Response to the Crisis, October 2008