Ryan Wessels

Ryan Wessels

Johannesburg, South Africa
T: +27 11 669 9479
E: ryan.wessels@bowmanslaw.com
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights


Ryan is a partner in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions practice. His practice focuses primarily on mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets, corporate finance and securities law.

In the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) arena, he has a wealth of experience in advising on all aspects of domestic and cross-border transactions, and has advised on significant public deals, private deals, black economic empowerment transactions and joint ventures.

In the equity capital markets and corporate finance (ECM) arena, Ryan has advised on several initial public offerings, rights offers and equity placings.

In 2008, he completed a seven-month secondment stint at Deutsche Bank AG, and in 2012 through 2013 he practiced at premier U.S. law firm: Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

Ryan has been recognized as a “highly regarded / leading lawyer” by the international research organization: IFLR1000 for his mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets expertise.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

Some of the most recent M&A transactions in which Ryan has acted include advising:

  • Imperial Holdings Limited, in its unbundling of its automotive business, housed in Motus Holdings Limited.
  • Imperial Holdings Limited, in its buyback of all of its outstanding preference shares.
  • Harmony Gold Limited, in its USD 300 million acquisition of certain mining and related-infrastructure assets from AngloGold Ashanti Limited.
  • Tyco, in its sale of its ADT South African business to Fidelity (deal value ZAR 1.9 billion).
  • Affiliated Managers Group, Inc., in its acquisition of a minority interest in Abax Investments Proprietary Limited.
  • Standard Chartered Bank, in its acquisition of the custody and trustee businesses of Absa.
  • VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE), in its expansion into the South African and African market through an acquisition of the entire outstanding share capital of Destiny Electronic Commerce (Proprietary) Limited (a leading South African electronic payment machine operator) from the Business Connexion Group and various minority shareholders.

Some of the most recent equity capital market transactions in which Ryan has acted include advising:

  • Vivo Energy Plc, in its simultaneous LSE primary listing and JSE secondary inward listing.
  • The underwriters in connection with the unbundling of Quilter Plc from Old Mutual Plc, and the subsequent listing and placing of Quilter on the London Stock Exchange and a secondary inward listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
  • Harmony Gold Limited, in its ZAR 1.26 billion capital raise, through a vendor consideration (share) placement.
  • The underwriting syndicate, including Citigroup, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Rand Merchant Bank, as joint global coordinators on the USD 1 billion rights offering by Sibanye Gold Limited.
  • AEP Energy Africa Limited, in its listing as a SPAC on the JSE.
  • HSBC Bank plc and Absa Bank Limited in relation to Ascendis Health Limited’s ZAR 2.7 billion equity capital raising by way of a ZAR 1.2 billion rights offer and ZAR 1.5 billion vendor consideration placing; the underwriting syndicate in relation to Lonmin Plc’s USD 407 million rights offer.
  • Merrill Lynch International and Scotia Capital Inc., in their capacity as joint bookrunners, in connection with Gold Fields Limited’s ZAR 2.5 billion accelerated bookbuild share placement.
  • Virgin Active Group Holdings Plc in relation to its proposed 2015 IPO.
  • GlaxoSmithKline on the sale of part of its equity stake in JSE listed Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited by way of an accelerated bookbuild share placement (deal value ZAR 10.5 billion).
  • Capital Appreciation Limited in its listing as a SPAC on the JSE.
  • Alexander Forbes in respect of its 2014 listing on the JSE.
  • The underwriting syndicate in respect of the Woolworths Group Holdings Limited rights offer in connection with refinancing the David Jones acquisition bridge.

“Ryan is technically sound, has a good understanding of local and international standards, is commercial in his approach and very proactive on transactions.” –  IFLR1000, 2018

Signature Matters


  • Ryan has been recognised as a “highly regarded / leading lawyer” by the international research organization: IFLR1000, for his mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets expertise.

Publications & Insights