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Mike McLaren is of counsel in the firm's Corporate practice, based in the Johannesburg office.

Mr. McLaren is a corporate, securities, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and capital markets lawyer who has significant experience in corporate and commercial transactional work, M&A, corporate finance and private equity, and across a broad array of industry sectors. Specifically, Mr. McLaren advises clients across a number of financial services, energy, mining and metals, and technology industry sectors (including, among others, fintech and technology, telecommunications, alternative and renewable energy, and minerals and resources). He also focuses on corporate debt and equity restructurings and work-outs in the above and other industry sectors.

Mr. McLaren joined the firm in September, 2019 with a view to helping grow the firm’s corporate and commercial law capabilities in South Africa and on the African continent. 

He typically advises a number of local and International multinational corporations, private equity firms, corporate finance firms, investment holding companies, sponsors and developers on the various transactions they undertake. Mr. McLaren also has significant experience in advising multinational corporations in respect of their strategic investments both in South Africa and more broadly on the African continent.

Previously, he practiced almost exclusively as a banking and finance lawyer, focusing on all aspects of banking, financing, refinancing and restructuring transactions, as well as the design and structuring of banking and financial products and services. Mr. McLaren continues to provide banking and finance advice to select key clients.

  • Advising SunPower on the proposed disposal of its South African assets to an International private equity house, and the introduction of a new strategic Black Economic Empowerment partner.
  • Advised on a strategic empowerment acquisition transaction, in terms of which WDB Investment Holdings, a diversified empowerment investment group, acquired a strategic ownership position in the Tsebo Solutions Group, enabling the Tsebo Solutions Group to achieve a level 1 Black Economic Empowerment Rating.
  • Advised The Wendel Group, a diversified listed investment group based in Paris, France, on its acquisition of the Tsebo Solutions Group from the Rockwood private equity consortium. This transaction was shortlisted for the Private Equity Deal of the Year at the 2017 Dealmakers awards.
  • Advised The International Finance Corporation in respect of the proposed restructuring of various of its investments in the Coast2Coast Group.
  • Advised Pangaea Investment Management Limited, an associate of the Chinese copper giant Jiangxi Copper, on the drafting, negotiation and closing of a USD200 million metals purchase streaming arrangement with Lonmin plc and its group companies (including all of its African subsidiaries), in terms of which the Lonmin group’s significant, and highly restrictive, existing indebtedness to its South African and International creditors was refinanced.
  • Advised the mandated lead arrangers on the structuring and financing of Woolworths' acquisition of David Jones.
  • Advised Peermont Global Limited in various capacities in respect of the corporate restructuring and refinancing of all of its indebtedness made available to it by a syndicate of local and international financiers– transaction value is in excess of ZAR16 billion
  • Advising A.B. Electrolux (publ), Sweden (Electrolux) in respect of its acquisition of Kwikot (PTY) Ltd (Kwikot) and its subsidiaries (collectively the Kwikot Group) for a total enterprise value of ZAR 3.18 billionAdvised the management of Cell C Proprietary Limited and its management in respect of its proposed corporate restructure as well as the restructuring and refinancing of various credit lines and debt facilities.
  • Advised Vodacom on the design, establishment, launch and implementation of the M-PESA electronic money product in South Africa.
  • Advised Nedbank Limited on the restructuring of the Pick n Pay Go-Banking Product with Pick n Pay Retailers (Proprietary) Limited.
  • Advised Net1 on the establishment of a new financial product in conjunction with Grindrod Bank.
  • Advised the 3 separate lender groups on the South African law implications of the restructuring of Abengoa SA and its affiliates, in particular the effect of cross-defaults on the debt facilities, the acceleration of sponsor equity commitments in cases, procuring additional credit support from Atlantica Yield plc (a LSE listed Abengoa investment holding vehicle), the recovery of liquidated damages and dealing with EPC Contractors as well as issuers of performance bonds to the projects, the restructure facilities to enable the issue of guarantees to suppliers and subcontractors, SQM Europe NV, Sociedad Quimica y Minera (Africa) and Ingenieria y Tecnicas de Montaje Lointek S.L. and the implementation of intellectual property arrangements and security mechanisms so as to ensure the adverse financial position of Abengoa and its effects on the availability of necessary intellectual property to the projects is minimised. These matters were relevant across the below-mentioned 3 projects and were of huge significance in South Africa not only because of sheer transaction value (see below) as well as the need to maintain project viability at a South African level. These 3 projects were:
    • the Kaxu Solar One concentrated solar parabolic trough power project, with a total transaction value of approximately ZAR7.5 billion, which was financed by, among others, the Industrial Development Corporation and The Development bank of Southern Africa; and
    • the Xina Solar One concentrated solar parabolic trough power project, with a total transaction value of approximately ZAR10 billion, which was financed by, among others, the Industrial Development Corporation and The Development bank of Southern Africa; and
    • the Khi Solar One concentrated solar tower power project, with a total transaction value on approximately ZAR6 billion, which was financed by, among others, the Industrial Development Corporation and The Development bank of Southern Africa.
  • Advised African Rainbow Capital, a prominent and diversified investment holding company, in relation to its acquisition of 29.9% interest in CMB International Ltd, the listed, Mauritian-headquartered, holding company of independent investment banking and advisory firm, Bravura.
  • Advising The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, The Industrial Development Corporation and Nedbank Capital, a division of Nedbank Limited, on the provision of a project financing facility to the Red Cap Kouga Wind Farm (RF) Proprietary Limited, in respect of the construction, development, operation and maintenance of a wind farm under the DoE’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme - estimated transaction value was approximately ZAR2.5 billion.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member of the Institute of Financial Markets (2008–present)
  • Ranked by Who’s Who Legal as being amongst the world’s best energy lawyers in 2015.
  • Ranked by Who’s Who Legal as being amongst the world’s best energy lawyers in 2016.