The restructuring of African Bank has successfully imported
the good bank-bad bank structure to South Africa. But domestic
idiosyncrasies meant counsel had to overlay international
liability management techniques with a complex and slow
curatorship process to save the troubled lender.
The restructuring required both an amendment to the
country’s Banks Act, and also contributed to the
consultation on a new resolution regime for institutions in the
Such changes are necessary to speed up what was a taxing
process, according to lawyers on the deal. "Trying to preserve
the business and the value in it, rather than winding the whole
thing down, can be a very cumbersome process. It’s
not something you get done in a resolution weekend," said
Richard Levy, partner at Linklaters in London who advised the
curator on the restructuring.
African Bank is close to completing the creation of
the continent’s first...