Ezra Davids is the head of the corporate/M&A department at Bowman Gilfillan specialising in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and securities law. Some of the most recent transactions in which Ezra has acted as lead partner include acting as South African counsel to Bharti in its then proposed merger with MTN ($24 billion); advising Verizon Communications in its disposal of its subsidiary, Verizon Business (South Africa); acting as South African Counsel to M1 and Investcom in the latter's acquisition by MTN (US$5.5 billion); advising Barrick Gold Corporation in its disposal of Barrick Gold South Africa (US$1.55 billion) and for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup in the disposal by Polyus (Norilisk) of its entire shareholding in Gold Fields Limited (US$2.02 billion); for SABMiller in the US$1 billion BEE transaction for its South African subsidiary; for Old Mutual Plc in the aborted negotiations related to the acquisition by HSBC control of Nedbank Limited; for Tokyo Stock Exchange listed Kansai Paint Co. Ltd. in its successful hostile bid for JSE listed Freeworld Coatings Limited (R3.3 billion); and as South African counsel for PPR in the disposal of its furniture and household goods business, Conforama, to JSE-listed Steinhoff International Holdings Limited (R12 billion).
Ezra is also the relationship partner for a number of the firm's major clients such as Bharti, Verizon, Barrick Gold Corporation, Nokia, UPS, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, UBS, Eskom and Transnet. He is also a regular contributor to international M&A and equity capital markets publications, and is co-contributor on the mergers’ chapter of the Modern Company Law text book.
Ezra is the chairman of the Faculty Advisory Board of the Law School of the University of Cape Town. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Legal Resources Trust (a non-profit human rights organisation using the law as an instrument of justice); a director of Freedom Under Law (a non profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of the rule of law in Southern Africa), and a patron of the Student Sponsorship Programme (a non profit organisation that places and enables academically talented, low income students to excel in South Africa’s best high schools). He is also the former chairman of the recent developments in M&A subcommittee of the business organisations committee of the International Bar Association and is currently the Vice-Chair, Africa Regional Forum of the International Bar Association.
The International Who's Who of Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyers 2013 Award: "Ezra Davids is regarded as one of the top 10 Mergers & Acquisitions lawyers globally. Ezra is the only lawyer from Africa on this list and according to Who's Who respondents praise his sophisticated understanding of complex issues."