Ayşe Yüksel Mahfoud

Global Head of Corporate, M&A and Securities
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP


Ayşe Yüksel Mahfoud is the Global Head of Corporate, M&A and Securities, as well as a member of the firm's Global Executive Committee and Partner-in-Charge of the Istanbul office.

Ayşe, who works in both New York and Istanbul, has extensive experience in a range of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, privatizations, joint ventures, strategic alliances, capital markets and SPAC transactions. She also advises on corporate governance issues. Ayşe provides counsel to companies, private equity funds, sovereign wealth and other investment funds, as well as financial institutions in cross-border transactions in the telecommunications, media, technology, consumer markets, energy, renewable energy and infrastructure sectors.

Ayşe led Norton Rose Fulbright's first Global M&A Trends and Risks 2023 report in collaboration with Mergermarket, which provides clients with a global outlook of the current M&A landscape through a comparative regional and sectoral lens.

Ayşe was awarded the Women, Influence and Power in Law Awards of the Corporate Counsel 2023 for Thought Leadership.

Ayşe was named in the 2022 New York Metro Super Lawyers list of Thomson Reuters in the Business/Corporate category.  Ayşe was in the Crain's New York Business 2022 list of Notable Diverse Leaders in Law, and a "Notable Women in Law," by Crain's New York Business in 2019. Ayşe was also named a "Woman of Influence," by the New York Business Journal in 2018. Ayşe has been consistently recognized by Chambers Global and Europe as a leading lawyer in Türkiye in Corporate/M&A and has been consistently ranked in Bank 1 / the Spotlight Table as a leading corporate lawyer. She has been consistently ranked as highly-regarded and a leading expert in Corporate/M&A by the IFLR1000. Ayşe was selected to the Global 50 Turkish Women Leaders 2022 list by the Capital economy magazine. She was the only leader on the list from the legal industry. In Legal 500 2023, she was referred by a client for being: "an excellent lawyer and a global leader. She knows the Turkish market as well as the US and UK markets. She is capable of understanding the client's needs and is very strategically innovative." 

Expérience professionnelle

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JD, Columbia Law School, 1995
BA, with honors, Harvard University, 1991

  • New York State Bar

M&A and Private equity

  • Represented a leading Turkish company in relation to its participation in a multinational joint venture to produce traction battery cells and array modules.
  • Represented International Holding Company in connection with its acquisition of a 50% stake in Kalyon Enerji Yatirimlari A.Ş. For this c. AED 1.8 billion worth deal, Norton Rose Fulbright was recognized as winner of the Turkish Deal of the Year Award at the CEE Legal Matters 2022 Deal of the Year Awards.  
  • Represented Anghami on its definitive merger agreement with Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc., a US-based special purpose acquisition company, where the deal marked a milestone in Nasdaq listings, with Anghami becoming the first Arab technology company to list on Nasdaq New York.
  • Representation of a group of financial investors in the development of a petrochemical plant in the MENA region.
  • Represented Trane Technologies on the acquisition of 100% MTA, an Italian-based manufacturer and distributor of sustainable solutions in industrial process cooling, air conditioning and air treatment, from Chequers Capital.
  • Represented Birgi Mefar Group's shareholders, a Turkish pharmaceuticals company which is the leading producer of sterile injectable products and has operations in over 30 countries, on the sale of 100 percent of its shares to Abu Dhabi investment and holding company ADQ. 
  • Represented leading white goods manufacturer Arçelik in its €78.3 million acquisition of Whirlpool Beyaz Esya Sanayi ve Ticaret AŞ, Whirlpool's wholly owned subsidiary in Türkiye.
  • Represented TPAY Mobile, the Middle East and Africa's leading digital merchant acquirer, in its acquisition of 100% of the shares of Turkish-leading FinTech company Trend Ödeme Kuruluşu A.Ş., known in the market as Payguru.
  • Represented a multinational company in connection with the potential acquisition of a US manufacturing company.
  • Represented a Middle Eastern private equity firm in connection with forming an investment club and making an investment in an Eastern European company.
  • Represented Cronus Chemicals in the development of a large greenfield fertilizer project in the United States.
  • Represented International Finance Corporation (IFC) and ICF Debt Pool in connection with the project financing of a waste management, and electricity and organomineral fertilizer production project in Türkiye, sponsored by the Hexagon group of companies, together with an equity investment in the project by IFC.
  • Assisted Energizer LLC in its acquisition and merger with the battery unit of Spectrum Brands Holding, Inc.
  • Represented Sabancı Holding in connection with the purchase of an additional 12 percent stake in Carrefoursa from joint venture partner and then majority shareholder Carrefour Nederland. Sabancı Holding became the majority shareholder following the share purchase.
  • Represented Sabancı Holding in connection with the negotiation of framework and joint venture agreements relating to Enerjisa, with new joint venture partner, E.ON. E.ON acquired shares in Enerjisa from the client's previous joint venture partner, Österreichische Elektrizitätswirtschafts-Aktiengesellschaft (Verbund).
  • Represented Swicorp Company, an international private equity and asset management firm focused on the Middle East, and Africa, in the acquisition by its affiliate, Sadeed Investment Limited, of a 30 percent equity stake in Saudi steel manufacturer BRC Industrial (Saudia) Limited.
  • Represented The Carlyle Group in the acquisition of a 40 percent stake in Medical Park Sağlık Hizmetleri, a Turkish leading healthcare services company.
  • Represented Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC) in the acquisition of a minority stake in an industrial company in North Africa.
  • Represented Dubai International Capital in its US$200 million investment in Oger Telecom, a leading provider of telecommunications services operating fixed-line, mobile communications and Internet access businesses in Türkiye, South Africa, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan.
  • Represented Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC) in an energy joint venture in the Middle East.
  • Represented the Arab Company for Arts & Publishing (Founoon), in its proposed acquisition of assets in Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
  • Represented Koç Holding in the sale of its majority stake in Migros Türk, after an auction process, to a consortium led by the private equity firm BC Partners for the equivalent of US$1.66 billion.
  • Represented the Privatization Administration of the Republic of Türkiye in connection with its sale of a 23.9 percent stake in Türkiye Halk Bankası via a secondary public offering, including a Rule 144A/Regulation S global equity offering, with proceeds in excess of US$2.5 billion.
  • Represented the Privatization Administration of the Republic of Türkiye in its proposed sale of a partial stake in Türk Telekom via a secondary public offering of shares on the Istanbul Stock Exchange, including a global offering component under Rule 144A/Regulation S.
  • Represented Saudi Telecom Company in its bid to the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority for the acquisition of the license to operate the third mobile telecommunications network in Egypt.

Compliance and Sanctions

  • Represented one of Türkiye's largest corporations regarding the development and implementation of an international compliance program, including anti-corruption and anti-money laundering advice, OFAC and EU sanctions advice as well as establishment of general compliance policies and procedures‎ for the corporation and its subsidiaries.
  • Representation of Anghami Inc. on corporate governance and compliance matters.
  • Representation of Multilot Inc. on compliance matters.
  • Represented Turkish Airlines A.O. on various compliance matters.
  • Represented the shareholder group of a major Middle Eastern bank in connection with certain money laundering allegations against the bank.
  • Women, Influence and Power in Law Awards – Thought Leadership, Corporate Counsel, 2023
  • Highly regarded lawyer, IFLR 1000 Europe, Turkey Capital Markets, Private Equity and M&A, 2023
  • New York Metro Super Lawyers, Business/Corporate, Thomson Reuters, 2022
  • Leading Lawyer, Chambers Global, Turkey Corporate/M&A: International/Foreign Expert, Chambers & Partners, 2013-2024
  • Highly regarded lawyer, Mergers and Acquisitions, IFLR 1000, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, 2019 - 2021
  • "Notable Diverse Leaders in Law," Crain's New York Business, Crain Communications Inc., 2022
  • "Notable Women in Law," Crain's New York Business, Crain Communications Inc., 2019, 2022
  • Woman of Influence, New York Business Journal, 2018
  • Leading Business Lawyers, Privatizations, Who's Who Legal, Law Business Research Ltd, 2014
  • Key Individual, Chambers Global, Central & Eastern Europe Projects & Energy, Chambers & Partners, 2013
  • Key Individual, Chambers Europe, Projects & Energy: Central & Eastern Europe (including Turkey), Chambers & Partners, 2013
  • Foreign Expert Spotlight Table/Expert Based Abroad, Chambers Global, Turkey Banking & Finance, Chambers & Partners, 2012-2013
  • Expert Based Abroad, Chambers Global, USA Corporate/M&A and USA Banking & Finance, Chambers & Partners, 2011-2013
  • International/Foreign Expert Spotlight Table, Chambers Global, Turkey Corporate/M&A, Chambers & Partners, 2012
  • 45 Under 45 "best of the best among young women lawyers in The Am Law 200, The American Lawyer, ALM, 2011
  • Young Society Leaders, "a group of accomplished professionals with a demonstrated record of leadership ability and commitment to serve the US-Turkish society at large," The American Turkish Society, 2011
  • Co-author with William L. Troutman and Aara Tomar, “Increasingly Important Role of ESG in M&A Outlook,” Corporate Compliance Insights, May 13, 2024
  • Co-author with Aara Tomar, “Obstacles, hurdles, and challenges on the road ahead: Stricter regulatory environments are expected to be the top dealmaking obstacle in 2024,” Westlaw, April 9, 2024
  • Co-author with Aara Tomar, “Supply Chain Disruption Continues to Steer M&A,” Industry Today, April 5, 2024
  • Co-author with Eric Ramirez, “Seizing Opportunities: Insights For U.S. CEOs Navigating The 2024 M&A Landscape,” Chief Executive, February 23, 2024
  • Interview, “CDT Roundup: 12 Deals, 18 Firms, 125 Lawyers, $8.4B,” The Texas Lawbook, February 6,2024
  • Interview, “Global M&A set to rebound in 2024, study finds,” Global Legal Post, January 31, 2024
  • Interview, "Are M&A Deals Back? Law Firm Report Says Better Days Ahead,” Law Fuel, January 30, 2024
  • "Global M&A trends and risks 2024," Mergermarket, January 2024
  • Co-author with Aara Tomar, "Regulatory Developments Shaping M&A Across the Globe," Corporate Compliance Insights, September 5, 2023
  • Co-author with Elie Krief and Ben Barger, "Private Equity Dry Powder will likely spur M&A Opportunities," Law360, August 2023
  • Co-author with Aara Tomar, "Strengthening Supply Chain: A Key Force Driving M&A," Industry Today, July 2023
  • Quoted, "ESG in 2023: Catalyst or Deterrent for M&A Activity?," Mergers & Acquisitions, July 2023
  • Co-author with Eric Ramirez, "M&A Forecast: Dealmakers Prepare for a Strong Finish to 2023," Chief Executive, July 2023
  • Quoted, "Appetite for M&A deals is strong, but obstacles remain," Legal Dive, June 2023
  • "Global M&A trends and risks 2023," Mergermarket, May 2023
  • "Doing Business in Turkey – a practical guide to legal aspects of doing business in Turkey." (Currently in 9th Edition) 2015 - 2024
  • Executive Editor: Inside Turkey (www.insideturkeylaw.com) 2019-present
  • "Global M&A trends and risks: Powerful new forces shaping the M&A landscape," Inside Turkey, June 13, 2023
  • Co-author with Cem Tecimer, "The Turkish Technology Ecosystem: An Introduction," Inside Turkey, June 15, 2022
  • Interview, "Turkey expected to attract business in three sectors in 2024," interview with editor Handan Sema Ceylan in Turkish daily, Nasıl Bir Ekonomi,  February 1, 2023
  • Co-author with Caroline May, Matthijs van Leeuwen, Tina Costas and A.Deniz Altınay, "ESG Overview and the path to carbon neutrality", Inside Turkey, June 17, 2022
  • "Turkey Webinar Series: 2022 ESG Trends," webinar, June 7, 2022 
  • "US Foreign Policy and the Political Impact on Supply Chain Disruption," webinar, July 30, 2020
  • "The United States and Turkey – Behind the Headlines," webinar, June 4, 2020
  • "Construction Workshop – Istanbul," client seminar, June 19, 2019
  • "Crisis Management: the early stages of an investigation," client seminar, March 21, 2019
  • "The Changing US Sanctions Environment – Legal and Practical Considerations for Turkish Companies," client seminar, August 1, 2018
  • "Investor-State Arbitrations," client seminar, May 17, 2017
  • "Opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa, " client seminar, March 24, 2016
  • Member: Global Relations Forum (GRF)
  • Member of the Board of Trustees: Robert College, Istanbul, Türkiye
  • Member: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Turkish Centennial Committee, New York, NY
  • Member: TAIK, Türkiye - US Business Council
  • Member: Project on the Economic Future of the Middle East and North Africa, sponsored by the Global Relations Forum (GRF) and Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) - Track II Diplomacy
  • English
  • Turkish