Ezekiel is a corporate and finance law partner based in Kuwait and has been with the firm since 2008. Ezekiel has extensive experience in public and private mergers and acquisitions and has led numerous cross-border and local transactions. He regularly advises on private equity and venture capital transactions and is routinely engaged by founders and investors alike in connection to start-up businesses.
Ezekiel also advises on financing and acts for both borrowers and lenders with regard to their financing transactions ranging from local bilateral deals to complex cross-border syndicated facilities and project financing. He also advises on acquisition financing, which dovetails seamlessly with his corporate work.
Ezekiel is widely experienced in handling restructurings as well as insolvency related work, having acted in the vast majority of major Kuwait restructurings since he joined the firm. He has advised lenders and borrowers on a range of local and cross-border restructurings.
Furthermore, Ezekiel acts for aircraft manufacturers, leasing companies, aircraft owners and operators with regard to the sale, purchase, leasing and financing of aircraft and engines.
Ezekiel has been consistently recognized as a leader in his fields of expertise by leading legal publications such as Chambers and Partners and the IFLR 1000.
USD3.4-billion acquisition of Kuwait Food Company (Americana)
Ezekiel led ASAR’s team in acting as Kuwaiti counsel to the purchaser of a 93.4% stake in Kuwait Food Company (Americana) a then Kuwaiti listed entity. This was a complex public acquisition transaction with a record-breaking deal value of approximately USD3.4-billion. The transaction set several precedents and landmarks in addition to winning the prestigious IFLR M&A Deal of the Year Award for 2017.
Carriage Logistics General Trading Company WLL (Carriage) Exit
Ezekiel led ASAR’s team, which acted as Kuwaiti law counsel to the founding shareholders of Carriage Logistics General Trading Company WLL (Carriage) with regard to the sale of their shares to Delivery Hero Group. This was an innovative and complex transaction which set a trend for startup exits in Kuwait. Unsurprisingly, the deal was shortlisted by the highly regarded IFLR 1000 for M&A Deal of the Year 2017. The deal represents one of the highest value start up exits in Kuwait and the GCC region.
Restructuring and re-restructuring of Global Investment House USD1.7-billion debts
Ezekiel advised Global Investment House (as debtor) with regard to its initial restructuring in 2009 and its re-restructuring in 2013. Global’s restructurings involved a total debt amount of USD1.7-billion. The initial restructuring involved no less than 52 creditors and was particularly complex, featuring multiple classes of debt that needed to be rolled up into a single debt restructuring program supported by one class of security granted to all the lenders. The deal was awarded the prestigious IFLR 1000 Restructuring deal of the year award in 2010. In 2013, Ezekiel advised Global on a re-restructuring to render itself a debt-free company through complex debt for equity and debt for assets swaps. This transaction was a trailblazer in many respects, including its use of an English scheme of arrangement to ensure a few non-consenting creditors became bound by the restructuring.
Advising on aviation finance and lease transactions
Notable transactions include advising AWAS Aviation Limited on the lease of 12 Airbus aircraft to a Kuwaiti operator, advising Aercap Holdings on its lease of aircraft to a local aircraft leasing company, advising Gulf International Bank PJSC on the sale of five Airbus aircraft, and advising DVB Bank SE, London Branch on the lease of aircraft to ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Company KSCP.