Although comparatively under developed, owing to previous political instability, the, Central African Republic is, through the recent establishment of a national unity government in early 2009, hoping to stabilise the investment and financial markets.
The CAR has a lot going for it in terms of natural resources, boasting considerable agricultural, water and mineral resources, and has been dubbed one of the world's leading countries in sustainable development. The current economy is largely led by the cultivation and sale of food crops, and the annual real GDP growth rate is just above 3%.
The political system is linked considerably to the legal markets, which follow a system of regular courts (civil, commercial, administrative, criminal and financial) and a military court.
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Central African Republic - Experience
Telecom Towers Acquisition - 6 Jurisdictions
We acted for a Gulf-based telcoms provider in its investment into a tower-sharing business in six jurisdictions across the OHADA region including Benin. We reviewed the whole regulatory environment for investment generally in each of the six countries, and specifically in the telecommunications sector. We have reviewed the process for licencing as well as the administrative framework within each country in detail. We produced a detailed due diligence on the target and its in- country operations, followed by incorporation of local subsidiaries and transfer of assets to NewCo, jurisdiction by jurisdiction.
Credit Card Issuance - Major International Charge Card
We advised this major card issuer on the rollout of its new card product in the CAR. We reviewed rules and regulations in both jurisdictions, as well as interpreting the internal procedure of the client and checking it for compliance with domestic legislation in both countries.
Mobile Licence Acquisition – Central African Republic
Acting for the bidder, we conducted due diligence on the target company and at the local registries in Bangui, commented on the acquisition and finance agreements from a local law perspective, drafted local documents and disclosure requests, advised on the tax aspects of the transaction and assisted in the structuring of the offshore aspect of the deal.
Bankruptcy Law and Practise
We have written the chapter on bankruptcy in the Central African Republic for Thomson Reuter’s Inside the Minds: Bankruptcy Law Client Strategies in the Middle East and Africa.
Power Generation – Regulatory Review
Working in partnership with a City of London law firm, we have reviewed in detail the regulatory environment for establishing an Independent Power Project (IPP) in the CAR. We have reviewed all aspects of creating an IPP, including corporate, fiscal, employment and real estate.
Banking Regulation - Major International Bank
We have assisted a major international bank in determining its in-country rules for opening bank accounts and offering ﬁnancial services. This involved a review of the regulatory environment, legislation and industry rules, as well as speaking to industry players in-country to determine established practice.
Arbitration Rules – US Law Firm
We have advised a US-based law firm on the rules for undertaking arbitration in the CAR with foreign parties, as well as those for enforcing foreign arbitral awards.
Banking Opinion – Major US Financial Institution
We were asked to provide an opinion to this major US ﬁnance house on taking and exercising security in the CAR, as well as how to deal with any funds which were realised.