StanChart acquires leading African M&A firm

Published: July 13, 2009

Standard Chartered announced its full acquisition of the remaining shareholding in First Africa Group, a leading pan-African M&A advisory firm.

Standard Chartered bank acquired an initial 25% stake in First Africa in October 2006. Raising its stake to 100% significantly enhances the bank’s capability to provide M&A and leveraged finance services to its international clients in African-related transactions, according to Standard Chartered.

Mike Rees, CEO of wholesale banking at Standard Chartered, says: “The acquisition of First Africa, an extremely well regarded M&A advisory business, strengthens our ability to provide corporate advisory to clients in Africa and will further strengthen our leadership position in facilitating international investment in Africa from Asia and the Middle East.”

Headquartered in South Africa, First Africa has been one of the leading M&A advisers in Africa over the past 10 years, with a track record in the mining, telecommunications and financial services sectors. The M&A team has been involved in several high-profile mergers, including advising Anglogold on its merger with Ghana’s Ashanti Goldfields, and South African mobile phone group MTN’s US$5.5bn acquisition of Kuwait-based Investcom.

In the wake of the announcement, Standard Chartered appointed Kofi Adjepong-Boateng as the head of its strategic client coverage group for Africa.

The bank also announced that Stephen Priestley, formerly the managing director and head of investment banking for JP Morgan’s sub-Saharan business, has joined Standard Chartered as managing director, head of corporate advisory, Africa, and will be responsible for the bank’s corporate advisory and financing business in Africa.

Priestley will also succeed Adjepong-Boateng in heading up the bank’s M&A advisory team for Africa, which will primarily include the First Africa operation and will be appointed as CEO of First Africa. Priestley brings a wealth of corporate finance expertise having worked with JP Morgan for over 10 years, where he originated and executed some of the largest and most complicated M&A, debt and equity transactions in Southern Africa.