Jason Wilkinson, partner (with award) and senior associate Phetole Modika collect the award from awards host broadcaster Leanne Manas (left) and judge Toyah Pfafferott, Afgri Jason Wilkinson, partner (with award), and senior associate Phetole Modik collect the award from awards host broadcaster Leanne Manas (left) and judge Toyah Pfafferott, Afgri

Finalists: Allen & Overy; Aluko & Oyebode; DLA Piper; Fasken Martineau; Hogan Lovells; Norton Rose Fulbright; Orrick; Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie

Bowmans snagged the Banking, Finance and Restructuring Team of the Year award for its work on Mara Delta Property Holdings’ acquisition of a shopping centre in Morocco – one of the largest pan-African real estate financings in recent history.

Led by Jason Wilkinson (pictured) and Ezra Davids, the firm was tasked with the overall structuring of the deal, which involved raising multi-currency funding via Investec (the bank’s first foray into Morocco). Part of the challenge was meeting Moroccan transaction requirements while putting in place international financing techniques to ensure successful syndication of the debt issuance (the funds were raised via a three-tranche loan denominated in dollars and euros).

The transaction needed Moroccan exchange control approval due to the multi-currency nature of the deal and because it spanned several jurisdictions (Morocco, South Africa, Mauritius and Bahrain).

Payment of the loan proceeds also presented a challenge given the shopping centre purchase had to be completed in Moroccan dirham, while the loan drawdown was in dollars and euros. That meant working with a single notary (unusual in Morocco) to hold the funds in escrow, with a one-off payment being made through a local bank. The deal is expected to serve as a template for future funding models and projects in Morocco.