0

The SME Investment Fund Invests in Four Jordanian Companies

In 2019, Khalifeh & Partners acted for Al Arabi Investment Group “AB Invest”, the Investment Manager of the Jordanian Banks’ SME Investment Fund, to successfully invest in four (4) targeted companies in Jordan.

AB Invest, a leading regional investment banking firm, invests in small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) through the Jordanian Banks’ SME Investment Fund. In December 2019, Khalifeh & Partners’ team, including Khaldoun Nazer (Partner), Noor Abu Al Samid (Associate), and Saed Obeidat (Junior Associate), worked with the Jordanian Banks’ SME Investment Fund, in completing a 26% ownership in the shares of the Eye Specialty Hospital, the first specialized hospital in ophthalmology in Jordan.

Earlier in 2019, the Jordanian Banks’ SME Investment Fund also invested into a 36.4% stake in ATICO Fakhreldin Group, a leading holding company in Jordan’s hospitality sector. K&P’s team, including Khaldoun Nazer (Partner), Dana Mubaidien (Associate), and Mera Alamat (Junior Associate), worked as legal counsel to advise AB Invest and the Jordanian Banks’ SME Investment Fund on the investment  through a share transfer and share subscription. The team also worked for the successful investment in a 46% stake in Japanese Flavor Co., a Jordanian limited liability hybrid food chain, where the Jordanian Banks’ SME Investment Fund invested in the Target through a capital raise at the company level.

In July 2019, K&P’s Khaldoun Nazer (Partner) and Siwar Saket (Associate) also successfully acted as legal counsel to AB Invest and the Jordanian Banks’ SME Investment Fund in the investment in a 35.63% equity stake in International Company for Outsourcing Services (“Crystel”), a Jordanian multilingual contact centre.

“Working with Khaldoun and the K&P team has been an absolute pleasure,” says Jameel Anz, Head of the Jordanian Banks’ SME Investment Fund. “The level of commitment and unwavering support we have received from them played a key role in a swift and successful closing of these investments. We will most certainly be engaging K&P in more transactions going forward.”

Khalifeh & Partners continues to act for AB Invest and the Jordanian Banks’ SME Investment Fund in its investment opportunities, contributing to Jordan’s growing markets.

Khalifeh & Partners is a full-service law firm that offers comprehensive expertise to our clients across many practice areas and jurisdiction, and is ranked “Tier 1” by Chambers and IFLR 1000. Please visit www.khalifehlaw.com for additional information about our practice and lawyers.

0

K&P Receives Certificate from Energy Charter Secretariat

On 14 October 2019, Khalifeh & Partners’ Khaldoun Nazer (Partner) received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Energy Charter Secretariat, recognizing the firm’s contribution to the 2019 Energy Investment Risk Assessment (EIRA). Notably, Khaldoun Nazer, Siwar Saket (Associate), and Dana Mubaidien (Associate) have been mentioned as individual contributors in Jordan. K&P was contacted by the Secretariat early last year to provide advice and information about the energy sector in Jordan for its flagship publication, EIRA, which would assess specific policy, regulatory, and legal risks in the energy sectors of various countries, including Jordan. EIRA 2019 was successfully completed and launched on 30 September 2019, after development under the Albanian Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference. The International Energy Charter has further launched a website to outline EIRA, offering up-to-date information on the regulatory frameworks of the participating countries, including Jordan.

Within the last year, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has ratified and entered into force the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).The Jordanian Parliament ratified the Treaty in April 2018, making the country the 51st Contracting Party of the ECT. Additionally, on 11 December 2018, Jordan joined the 1994 Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects (PEEREA) which requires participating states to formulate clear policy aims for improving energy efficiency and reducing the energy cycle’s negative environmental impact.

The Secretariat believes that the ECT will enhance confidence in the investment climate in the energy sector in Jordan and attract foreign investments for infrastructure projects in this field, in addition to strengthening the Kingdom’s position as a transit country for energy projects, where transit across its borders is secure and stable and facilitating technical assistance, especially oil and gas pipelines and electricity interconnection projects.

0

K&P Awarded “National Firm of the Year”

For the past several years, Khalifeh & Partners has been ranked ‘Tier 1’ by all major legal directories, including Chambers & Partners, IFLR 1000, and The Legal 500. Recently, Khalifeh & Partners achieved the ranking of National Law Firm of the year (Jordan) on October 17th during IFLR 1000’s 2018 Middle East Awards. The event took place at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai and celebrated the most innovative legal work over the past 12 months across six categories, as well as the  teams behind it.

 

K&P was recognized for the firm’s leading roles on numerous financing transactions, including a number of high-value projects such as the USD $1.4 billion Attarat Um Ghudran Oil Shale Fired Power Plant, in addition to several M&A transactions including Pepsico’s sale of 52% shares to CIB Investments SPC Limited, and ADP’s acquisition of shares in Airport International Group (AIG). The firm was also recognized for its pioneering work in other sectors, including Jordan’s sports and entertainment law through its submission of several successful appeals to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Federacion Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).  Finally, K&P also advised the Energy Charter Secretariat on the barriers and risks related to foreign investment in the energy sector in Jordan.  K&P’s role is anticipated to support Jordan as it moves to sign the Energy Charter Treaty, the only legally-binding international treaty that establishes a multilateral framework for cross-border cooperation in the energy industry.

 

“We are honored to be the recipient of such an award”, says Managing Partner Ala’ Khalifeh. “Khalifeh & Partners always strives to provide the most comprehensive and efficient advice to our clients, and our lawyers receive cross-sector training and experience so that they are able to think critically and innovatively about every transaction. This award speaks to the dedication and diligence of our team, and I couldn’t be more proud.” Gratitude to K&P’s clients was expressed by Khaldoun Nazer, who says “the trust of K&P’s longstanding clients has led us to the top of the legal market in Jordan. We will continue to provide our clients with the excellent services they deserve as we strive to understand their business needs and provide them with tailored legal advice.” Iyad Hamarneh, Partner and head of litigation at K&P offers further explanation and praise, saying “In every corporation, there are several factors that provide a foundation for success. We at Khalifeh & Partners are blessed and proud to have a dedicated and hardworking team who spare no effort and work closely together to establish and maintain the firm’s excellent reputation. Without this team, we could not have won this award.  For each one of you, thank you very much for this achievement. ”

 

K&P would like to thank its clients and partners both in Jordan and abroad for their cooperation and hard work during the past year, and would also like to congratulate all of the winners.

 

0

K&P Hosts Working Group with Delegates from the Energy Charter Secretariat

On 21 June 2018, a team from Khalifeh & Partners including Ala’ Khalifeh (Partner), Khaldoun Nazer(Partner), and Siwar Saket (Associate) met with representatives from the Energy Charter Secretariat during the Secretariat’s working visit to Jordan to discuss barriers and risks to investment in the energy sector in Jordan. Earlier this year, K&P was contacted by the Secretariat to provide advice and information about the energy sector in Jordan for its flagship publication, the Energy Investment Risk Assessment (“EIRA”), which will assess specific policy, regulatory, and legal risks in the energy sectors of various countries, including Jordan.

Though Jordan has not yet signed the Energy Charter Treaty (”ECT”), it is an observer to the Energy Charter Conference, having signed the International Energy Charter political declaration at a ministerial level summit in The Hague, the Netherlands, in May 2015. It has also signed the European Energy Charter Declaration of 1991 and has completed the relevant technical procedures in order to accede to the ECT.

The Secretariat believes that the ECT will enhance confidence in the investment climate in the energy sector in Jordan and attract foreign investments for infrastructure projects in this field, in addition to strengthening the Kingdom’s position as a transit country for energy projects, where transit across its borders is secure and stable and facilitating technical assistance, especially oil and gas pipelines and electricity interconnection projects.

Currently, the ECT is being reviewed by the Jordanian Parliament. It is expected that the Kingdom will move to ratify the ECT in the near future.

0

ADP Takes Control of Queen Alia Airport

A team from Khalifeh & Partners including Khaldoun Nazer (Partner), Dina Issa, (Associate) and Mouawyeh Tarawneh (Associate) worked with Clifford Chance LLP (DIFC Office) on the sale of 85.7% of the shares of Airport International Group (AIG), the Concession Holder of Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA). The transaction is valued at approximately USD $530 million. K&P acted for the sellers’ group comprised of Abu Dhabi Investment Company, Noor Financial Investment Company, J&P-Avax S.A., Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas) Ltd, and Edgo Investment Holdings Limited, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Obeidat Freihat acted for the buyers.

This transaction allows ADP International S.A. to hold approximately 51% of QAIA, and gives it exclusive control of AIG. There are also new co-shareholders in AIG: Paris-based Meridiam Eastern Europe Investments 2 S.A.S and Abu Dhabi-based Mena Airport Holding Ltd, while Edgo retains its co-shareholder status.

In November 2007, under the terms of a 25-year design, build, operate, and transfer (DBOT) concession agreement, AIG became the Jordanian entity responsible for the operation of QAIA. Funding for the project was secured through the International Finance Corporation, the Islamic Development Bank, a syndication of commercial lenders, and shareholder equity. K&P previously acted for a consortium that bid for the project.

The DBOT concession witnessed the rehabilitation of the airport’s facilities, and the construction of a new passenger terminal. Since 2007, it has already increased the capacity of QAIA to host more than 6.2 million passengers, inaugurated a new terminal, and became the second airport in the Middle East to earn the Airport Carbon Accreditation.

ADP’s objectives for the remainder of the concession include strengthening the airport’s route network, improving the quality of service offered to its passengers, enhancing the performance of aeronautical and commercial activities, and ensuring sustainable and social responsible development for the remaining duration of the project.

Khalifeh & Partners is a full-service law firm that offers comprehensive expertise to our clients across many practice areas and jurisdiction, and is ranked “Tier 1” by Chambers and IFLR 1000. Please visit www.khalifehlaw.com for additional information about our practice and lawyers.

1 2