Chike Obianwu is a Partner in Finance and Corporate Law and the Head of the Finance Practice Group.
He holds a Master of Laws from the University College London and has extensive experience in corporate and project finance, mergers & acquisitions, capital markets & securities law as well as investment banking.
He is admitted to practise in Nigeria and in England & Wales, and recognised as a leading finance lawyer by both Chambers & Partners and IFLR 1000. He regularly advises corporates, project sponsors, fund managers, banks and other financiers on equity and debt capital raising, fund formation, and the structuring, financing and development of projects.
He was formerly joint deputy head of corporate finance & advisory and legal counsel at the leading Nigerian investment bank, Zenith Capital Limited.
His role in corporate finance & advisory involved leading transactions in the areas of loan syndications, infrastructure financing, mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructuring; and, as legal counsel, he was responsible for managing outside counsel and internally providing legal support and deal structuring services in the areas of corporate and project finance, fixed income sales and trading, asset management, private equity and bond offering.
Before Zenith Capital, he had worked in structured & project finance law at Templars and at another leading law firm.
He sits on the Legal & Regulatory Council of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association, and also serves regularly on various public interest panels and committees. In 2011, he was appointed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to a technical committee of experts to advise the SEC on the proposed demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He was also a member of the legal team retained to advise the International Finance Corporation in connection with its 2003 Technical Assistance study on the revival of Nigeria’s then moribund corporate and public-sector bond market.
A Selection Of Relevant Experience
- The Lenders (comprising 31 commercial banks, ECAs and DFIs) on the precedent-setting US$3 billion multi-source corporate financing of Nigeria LNG Limited’s LNG Train 7 project. This is widely acknowledged to be the first time that the development of an LNG project has been financed using a multi-sourced corporate loan structure.
- China Harbour Engineering Company and Tolaram (as Sponsors) together with the Project Company on the US$1.34 billion financing and development of the Lekki Deep Sea Port project.
- Azura Power on the US$1 billion equity and debt financing of the development of the Azura-Edo independent power project (IPP), the first ever truly project financed IPP in Nigeria.
- The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Total E & P Nigeria Limited (Total) as sponsors on a US$1 billion pre-export financing for field development works by the NNPC/SPDC/Total joint venture.
- Sinopec and its Addax subsidiaries in relation to a Transfer, Settlement and Exit Agreement with the national oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), by which Sinopec and its subsidiaries would achieve clean and amicable exit from four oil mining leases (OMLs) which were operated by Addax Petroleum under production sharing contracts with NNPC.
- Diamond Bank plc on its merger with Access Bank plc to form the largest retail bank in Africa.
- American Tower Corporation on its US$1.05 billion acquisition of 4800 telecoms towers from Airtel.
- Helios Investment Partners on the sale of Helios Towers Nigeria Limited (the pioneer of tower infrastructure sharing in Africa) to IHS Holding Limited, the largest mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
- The joint bookrunners on Access Bank plc’s US$500 million perpetual fixed-rate resettable non-cumulative non-call 5.25 additional Tier 1 (AT1) subordinated notes. The notes were the first-ever additional Tier 1 Eurobond issuance by a Nigerian bank and the second out of Africa.
- IHS Towers in connection with its US$800 million high-yield Eurobond issuance, the largest ever high-yield Eurobond offering by an African-based issuer.
- Seplat Petroleum Development Company plc (now Seplat Energy plc) on its US$350 million debut Eurobond issuance.