Abeer Jarrar_George Marshall

Baker McKenzie’s Global Team Facilitates Fairfax’s GIG Expansion

Global law firm Baker McKenzie has provided legal counsel to Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (“Fairfax”) in its acquisition of KIPCO’s 46.32% shareholding in Gulf Insurance Group K.S.C.P (“GIG”) for approximately USD 860 million. Fairfax, headquartered in Toronto, is a prominent holding company engaged in property and casualty insurance, reinsurance, and associated investment management. 

Gulf Insurance Group, listed on Boursa Kuwait, is a prominent and diversified insurance group in the Middle East and North Africa, operating across 12 countries with a strong presence in Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, and Egypt. 

Following the December 2023 closing of the acquisition, Fairfax’s stake in GIG surged from 43.69% to 90.01%. The acquisition closure hinged on obtaining necessary approvals from regulators across jurisdictions where GIG operates, encompassing merger control, capital markets, stock exchange, and insurance regulators. 

In compliance with the Capital Markets Authority of Kuwait regulations, the acquisition’s closure necessitates Fairfax to initiate a mandatory tender offer (“MTO”) to all other GIG shareholders. Fairfax plans to launch the MTO in the first quarter of 2024. 
The Baker McKenzie cross-practice group team included lawyers from the Firm’s offices across London, Dubai, Riyadh, Bahrain, Istanbul, Cairo, Brussels, Amsterdam and Toronto. The core corporate team was led by London Corporate Partner George Marshall (pictured right) and Dubai Corporate Partner Abeer Jarrar (pictured left), with support from corporate senior associates Haya Massoud (Riyadh) and Ben Saraci (London) and corporate associates Akshay Prasad (London) and Rebecca Longe (London). 
The broader Baker McKenzie team included: 

• Corporate: Hani Nassef (Partner, Cairo), Mohamed Abdelhalim (Of Counsel, Cairo) and Malak Abou Senna (Associate, Cairo). 

• Banking and Finance: Nick Tostivin (Partner, London), Thomas Hosted (Senior Associate, London), Serge Diaz (Trainee, London); Muhsin Keskin (Partner, Istanbul), Ece Deniz Gunel (Associate, Istanbul); and Marwa Abdulmalik (Associate, Bahrain). 

• Competition, Trade and Foreign Investment: Samantha Mobley (Partner, London), David Monnier (Partner, Riyadh), Mohamed Elfar (Counsel, Cairo), Ciara Conte (Associate, Brussels), Roma McCool (Associate, London), Marwan Othman (Associate, Riyadh), Sietske Brinksma (Associate, Amsterdam), Esen Ergul (Associate, Istanbul), Irem Turgut (Associate, Istanbul) and Ruwaa AlAbdullatif  (Trainee, Riyadh). 

• Tax: Alistair Craig (Partner, London), Reggie Mezu (Special Counsel, Dubai), Marina Tokunova (Legal Director, Amsterdam) and Ben Phillips (Senior Associate, Dubai).