Christo Els
Christo Els
Position: Senior Partner
Practice: Corporate
Office: Johannesburg
Telephone: +27 11 530 5628

Christo Els is Webber Wentzel's Senior Partner. Christo was named Joint Dealmaker of the Year in 2011 by Dealmakers Magazine, with five further nominations between 2010-2015.

Christo's experience includes many of the large, transformational and cross-border transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa in recent years, including the African aspects of AB InBev's take-over of SABMiller; Woolworths' ZAR 23 billion takeover of David Jones in Australia - one of the largest outbound acquisitions by a South African company; Mercer Africa's acquisition of a 34% interest in the Alexander Forbes Group; Walmart's purchase of a majority stake in Massmart; Vodafone's acquisition of a majority interest in Vodacom; and Gutsche Family Investments on the multi-billion USD creation of giant Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.

Other complex deals include advising Al Noor Hospitals Group Plc on the combination of Al Noor and Mediclinic International Ltd;  Oceana Group on the acquisition of Daybrook Fisheries in the USA; Tsogo Sun in respect of the ZAR 11 billion disposal by SABMiller plc of its 39.6% stake in Tsogo Sun; and the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China in respect of its ZAR 37 billion acquisition of 20% of Standard Bank.

Christo has advised on many complex and flagship IPO's on the JSE, having acted on, for example, the JSE listings of AB InBev (ZAR 3 trillion secondary inward listing), Ethos Capital, Life Healthcare, Mondi, Mpact and Vodacom Group.

Christo's Corporate/ M&A and Capital Markets expertise has been recognised by various international research organisations including Chambers Global, Legal 500, IFLR1000, Who's Who Legal and Best Lawyers and Christo was awarded Lawyer of the Year for Capital Markets by Best Lawyers in 2016.

He has BLC (cum laude) and LLB (magna cum laude) degrees from the University of Pretoria as well as an LLM (Tax) degree (cum laude) from the University of South Africa.  He also attended an executive education programme on Leading Professional Services Firms at Harvard Business School in 2008.

Areas of expertise
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Capital markets
  • Securities regulation law
  • General commercial law
  • Private equity investments and disinvestments

Named by:

  • Chambers Global 2009 - 2018 as Band 1 ranked lawyer (Corporate/ M&A and Capital Markets: Equity).
  • Legal 500 2014 - 2018 as a legal expert (Commercial, corporate and M&A).
  • Legal 500 2018 - Hall of Fame.
  • IFLR1000 2010 - 2018 as a leading lawyer (Capital markets: Debt; Capital markets: Equity; M&A).
  • Who's Who Legal 2010 - 2017 as a listed lawyer (M&A and Corporate Governance).
  • Best Lawyers 2015 - 2018 (Capital Markets Law; Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law).
  • DealMakers Magazine as Joint Dealmaker of the Year, 2011.