A&O Dubai leads Libya through £190m acquisition of Verenex

The acquisition marks the first sortie of the Libyan ­government’s investment arm into the Canadian ­energy market, as well as the first time the magic circle firm has acted on one of its M&A transactions.

Corporate partner Pervez Akhtar, who rejoined A&O in March 2009 after a spell at Middle East private ­equity house Abraaj Capital, led a multijurisdictional team on the deal.

Akhtar was joined by ­fellow Dubai corporate partner Chris Thornes and Dutch corporate partner Robert Jan Lijdsman. Tax advice came from Dutch consultant Jan Ter Wisch.
Canadian firm McCarthy Tétrault advised LIA on Canadian law. Its team was led by London managing partner Rob Brant.

Verenex was advised by Macleod Dixon, with corporate partner Andrew Love leading the team for the Canadian firm.

The acquisition was made at a price of Can$7.09 per share, plus an additional amount based on net working capital.

Akhtar said: “This ­acquisition is the first public acquisition in North ­America to be made by the LIA and demonstrates its continued commitment to developing Libya’s energy andinfrastructure ­industries.”

Verenex has a discovered resource base and exploration portfolio in Libya’s Ghadames Basin. Its shares had been listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange but have been delisted since the completion of the deal.