John Cunha


John is a banking and finance, capital markets and M&A partner based in Kuwait. He has extensive experience advising on debt capital markets transactions in Kuwait and regularly advises issuers, arrangers and underwriters in relation to a wide range of debt and liability management transactions. 

John also has a multi-faceted international banking and finance practice and has acted for both banks and borrowers, on domestic and cross-border deals. Added to this, he advises local and international financial institutions on national regulations, derivatives, repo’s and securities lending and credit support documentation.



Admitted as a Solicitor (England and Wales), 2007
Admitted as an Attorney (South Africa), 2000
LL.M (Master of Laws - International Trade Law), University of Stellenbosch, 2005-2007
MBA (Master in Business Administration), University of the Free State (in collaboration with De Paul University in Chicago, USA), 1999-2001
B.Proc. (Law) University of the Free State, 1995-1998

Experience highlights

Kuwait Sovereign Bonds Issuance…



Kuwait Sovereign Bonds Issuance

Advised the State of Kuwait, acting through the Ministry of Finance and represented by the Kuwait Investment Authority, on the establishment of its Global Medium Term Note (GMTN) Programme and Kuwait’s inaugural dual-tranche, US dollar-denominated international debt capital markets issuance thereunder. The Notes issued on 20 March 2017 for USD8-billion, were offered and sold in reliance on Rule 144A and Regulation S and were admitted to trading on the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

USD3.4-billion Acquisition of Kuwait Food Company …



USD3.4-billion Acquisition of Kuwait Food Company (Americana)

Advised 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.

ECA Financing …



ECA Financing

Advising a syndicate of lenders consisting of seven Export Credit Agencies in relation to the financing of Kuwait National Petroleum Company Clean Fuels Project. The overall cost of the project is KWD3.4-billion (USD11.35-billion), and is part of the Kuwait’s KWD30-billion (USD100-billion) economic development plan.

Privatization of the Kuwait Stock Exchange (Boursa…



Privatization of the Kuwait Stock Exchange (Boursa Kuwait)

Advised the Capital Markets Authority (the CMA) of the State of Kuwait in relation to the landmark privatization of the Kuwait Stock Exchange (now known as Boursa Kuwait) which culminated with the sale by the CMA of 44% of its shares held in the capital of Boursa Kuwait through a developed bidding process. This resulted in the winning bid being placed by the international consortium comprised of the Athens Stock Exchange, National Investments Company, Al Oula Investment and Arzan Financial Group.