African Bank restructure sets workout precedent

Author: Tom Young | Published: 15 Mar 2016

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 country.

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...