John W Ffooks & Co - Strategy | Investment | Law > Africa
Satellite Communications Array

Telecommunications

The telecommunications sector is one of the major growth areas in Africa. We have experience in acting for operators, equipment suppliers and finance houses in all areas including fixed-line, mobile telephony, fixed and mobile transmission and radio operations (including short wave). We have advised extensively across the region and have an experienced practice group able to assist on all aspects of client needs.

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.

Internet sales – Ivory Coast, Mali, Chad & Madagascar

We acted for a major on-line retailer advising whether the client’s standard way of operating in new countries was acceptable under local law. Issues included advice on sale of goods; import, export and customs regulations; advice on the regulatory framework for investors generally; as well as commenting on framework under which laws and regulations are drafted and amended.

Software Rollout – Cameroon and Ivory Coast

Acting for a leading internet service provider, we advised on the rules for operating in country, the regulatory regime for internet based sales and the sanctions and enforcement for breach.

€20m Vendor Financing

Acting for the Credit Division of a leading European telcoms manufacturer, we advised on its vendor financing of and approx €20m installation and expansion in the telecommunications sector. We advised on enforceability of covenants, warranties and default provisions, implementing and enforcing security and in relation to Malagasy law generally. We drafted the security documentation and finalised security arrangements to the satisfaction of the client, as well as issuing a closing opinion.

Asset Purchase – Short Wave Radio Installation

Acting for a UK based operator, we conducted detailed due diligence on assets located in Madagascar. This included reviewing the operating agreement and examining the need for a novation of the operating licence. We also reviewed all employment contracts and real estate issues as well as advising on the best tax-efficient structure for the client.

Licencing and Installation – Radio Transmission

Acting for a US-based NGO, we negotiated the operating licence for the radio towers as well as negotiating, drafting and registering the lease over its land. We have also been responsible for the regulatory clearance of all the technical equipment imported for the construction phase.

Regulatory Review – 5 jurisdictions

Acting for a US-based equipment manufacturer and service provider, we have reviewed the regulatory regime in 5 countries in the region to see what licences are required and how they are obtained for the installation and operation of the client’s equipment.

Regulatory Review – Madagascar and Comores

Acting for a client of a French law firm, we conducted a review of the telecommunications sector in Madagascar in relation to the client’s specific area of interest. We also assisted the client in obtaining the same information for the Comores and Mayotte.