Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised a consortium, led by Kenya’s Safaricom and including Vodafone, Vodacom, CDC and Sumitomo, on its winning bid for Ethiopia’s first telecoms license for $850 million, following a competitive, two-year auction process.
The transaction represents significant investment into Ethiopia’s telecommunications industry and opens the sector up to foreign investment for the first time in more than 125 years.
Oliver Stacey, London-based corporate partner, who led on the deal commented:
“This transaction will bring an end to the closed monopoly of telecommunications in the country and is the biggest foreign direct investment in the country’s history. The telecoms license will be vital to Ethiopia’s plans for digital & economic development and nationwide 4G by 2023.”
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was also led by associate Zahra Sachedina and included partners Mark Tricker (antitrust and competition) and Dan Metcalfe (banking and finance), with further support from counsel Nari Ertem, senior associates Ed Gardner and Jason Logendra and associates William Ball, Peter Critchley, Joshua Singer and Akbar Khawaja.
The team was also assisted by its South African offices, led by director Rosalind Lake and associate Priyanka Naidoo and supported by associate designates Ushenta Naidoo and Roxanne van Rooyen, director Mark Griffiths, candidate attorney Kala Ilunga and director Malibuye Cossie.
The deal also included the Amsterdam office led by partner Geert-Jan van Rijthoven and included counsel Stefanie Walthau and associate Nivard Witte, the Sydney team led by partner Martyn Taylor and included senior associate Stephanie Phan and associates Andrew Pattinson and Joana Becquet-Zardi and the Brussels team led by partner Michael Jürgen Werner and included associate Julia Kampouridi.