Levari: FMCG Likely to Witness Merger & Acquisition Transactions

FMCG, Family Businesses Likely to Witness Merger, Acquisition Transactions: Levari Interview

Egypt is expected to achieve approximately 5.3% growth for the next five years, which is well above the 4% average expected for the rest of Africa. For three consecutive years, Egypt tops the list of most attractive African countries to invest in, according to South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank’s 2020 investment report, due to be released next January.


Can you tell us more about transactions Levari carried out lately?

In 2019, Levari has handled major regional transactions. Some of the most notable transactions were the Investec Asset Management’s acquisition of Spinneys Egypt from the Commercial Bank of Dubai whom we represented.

We are also proud to report that Levari has recently completed the transfer of the intellectual property rights of the novel series Paranormal by Ahmed Khaled Tawfiq to Netflix whom we represented.

We further acted as a legal counsel to the software engineering recruiter Andela as it continues to innovate with its successful pan-African expansion into Egypt, and completed the latest Flat6labs cycle and investment in ten new companies.

We are also very proud to have Marwa Fayed’s Toy Run Association in Cairo come on board and look forward to supporting this great organization and the good that it does for children.

In Dubai, we are very delighted to have Commercial Bank of Dubai come on board as a corporate and litigation clients.

What about Levari’s potential transactions in the near future?

Well, Levari is known for being very secretive about its work and its clients, but I can say that for the upcoming period (until the end of 2019), the firm is about to complete three major acquisition transactions, two joint venture deals, and one major foreign direct investment (FDI) project. We look forward to making the announcements in the new year, but until then, we must respect our clients’ confidentiality.

Are there any new sectors your office is planning to operate in?

In 2020, we plan to expand our work in media and intellectual property, technology (Fintech), capital markets, and cross border arbitration. This may include opening more regional offices, but we reveal more about this later.

How do you see the new Investment Law in Egypt?

We can see that the Ministry of Investment under the auspice of Dr. Sahar Nasr has come a long way in improving the investment legislations in Egypt through a comprehensive dialogue with the private sector, implementation of new legislation and regulations.

The current investment legislation provides a good foundation for further development on the technical aspects of the investment laws and procedure which will come with time as the market gives its feedback and technical requirements. This will aid in securing investments and increase FDIs. Levari’s role will be to ensure that its clients are aware and up to date with the new investment regulations and their benefits.

In your opinion, what are the most prominent sectors in the Egyptian market which could be increasingly eligible for merger or acquisition?

I believe that there are some significant potential acquisition and/or merger transactions in Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and family-owned manufacturing businesses. However, there is great potential in the SME market and great opportunities and growth within this segment.

In your opinion, what are the main legal risks to be found in a merger? Could you tell us Levari’s role in mitigating such risks?

The major legal risks of a merger lie in the fact that when you merge two companies, the full financial and legal liabilities of the two separate companies are now realized in the one newly created company.

The most important aspect before a merger is making sure the legal and financial due diligence is fully and thoroughly undertaken, and that funds are set aside in case of any unforeseen issues.

However, one of the major issues we sometimes see is the difficulties that employees go through in a merger; here the work culture changes, and usually the staff can feel uncomfortable during that period of change.

Nonetheless, our role as lawyers is to make sure that everyone is protected and the transitional period proceeds as smoothly as possible.

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Yasmin Alafaliq​

KSA, Partner

Yasmin Alafaliq is the Co-Founder of Elaqat for Corporate Services, a one stop shop that focuses on foreign investments by providing company incorporation services to foreign companies that wish to expand into the Saudi Market.


In 2022, Yasmin joined the Levari family by becoming the firm’s appointed partner in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Yasmin is an experienced lawyer with extensive knowledge of the Saudi Arabian laws and regulations which are supported by a degree in Law from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She takes pride in providing the best services with the highest of quality.


Yasmin holds bachelor’s degree of law (LLB) from King Faisal University in 2019.


She is fluent in Arabic and English.

Ahmed Barakat

Egypt, Partner

Ahmed joined Levari in April 2021 as a Partner and Head of Litigation.


Prior to joining Levari, Ahmed was at The Egyptian Prosecution Authority where he served in various prosecution offices for six years. He joined the Judiciary in October 2015 and specialized and issued judgements in cases involving tax evasions, customs evasions, white collar & financial crimes, real estate, breaches of trusts and various cases under Egyptian laws.


Barakat holds an LLB from Ain Shams University, English Division and in 2018 received his Masters from Pennsylvania State University.


He is fluent in Arabic, English, and German.

Hamad Bin Salmeen

UAE, Partner

Hamad is a Partner at Levari and is a UAE qualified lawyer with the right of audience before the Court of Cassation. He has over 15-years of experience in litigation specializing in maritime, civil law, corporate law and banking transactions. Hamad has represented some of the largest companies and corporation in the UAE including El Suwaidi Group.


In addition, he has established Al Mashreq International Advocates in 2007 prior to the aqusiation by Levari. He is also responsible for all litigation and UAE law related matters in Dubai, UAE.


He is fluent in Arabic.

Hisham Kassim

Jordan, Senior Partner

A seasoned corporate lawyer with almost 15 years of experience, Hisham has successfully closed over a hundred private equity and venture capital transactions and currently represents some of the most prominent family offices, private equity, and venture capital firms in MENA.


Hisham is also a published scholar in major U.S. law reviews and has launched several pro-bono clinics for MENA startups in Jordan, West Bank, and Egypt. He also serves as pro-bono counsel to several medical non-profits in the region including the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.


He was admitted to the bar of the District of Columbia in June 2008. He holds an LLM from the New York University School of Law, a JD from the University of Iowa College of Law, and a BA from the University of Virginia.


He is fluent in Arabic and English.

Mohamed Raslan

Senior Partner

Mohamed has gained extensive experience in commercial law, litigation, investment, capital markets, banking and finance, tax laws, and regulatory advice.


He specializes in banking and finance working as in-house counsel for some of the largest financial institutions in Egypt including Commercial International Bank, Ahli United Bank, and Egypt Factors. Prior to founding Levari, he went back into private practice taking up the position of senior associate within the Egyptian associate office of Crowell & Moring LLP.


Mohamed received his LLB from Menofia University in 2004 and is an active member of the Egyptian Bar Association since 2005. He holds a master’s degree from The American University In Cairo.


He is fluent in Arabic and English.

Sherif Hefni

Senior Partner

After gaining valuable management experience in the city of London, Sherif undertook postgraduate qualifications in law allowing him to be called to the Bar of England & Wales and qualifying as a Barrister. Sherif has undertaken extensive legal work at the International Labour Organization in the UN in Geneva, ICT Lawyers, and Crowell & Morning offices prior to founding Levari LLP in 2012. His area of expertise is in mergers & acquisition, corporate restructuring and investments, as well as international arbitration.


Sherif holds a BA (hons) in Business & Psychology from the University of Northampton (UK), a Graduate Diploma in Law from Oxford Brooks University (UK), the Bar Vocational Course from City Law School-University of London (UK).


Sherif is a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, member of the Charted Institute of Arbitrators, member of American Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Institute of Directors.


He is fluent in Arabic and English.