We have been in business for years and have provided legal support and advice for various projects and transactions in Egypt.
Bremer is a boutique law firm specializing in international business law operating in markets with dynamic regulatory systems and cross-border transactions. We serve a wide range of global markets across the Middle East and North Africa, including Cairo, Egypt. Egypt is considered one of the most attractive and dynamic markets in Northern Africa.
Our lawyers understand the complexities of conducting business in this area and are highly skilled at understanding the ever-changing market. As a result, when you choose to work with Bremer, you gain the upper hand in the Egyptian market. In addition, you can benefit from our extensive knowledge and experience in both legal and business environments acquired from being active on the ground in Cairo and the surrounding markets.
We have been in business for years and have provided legal support and advice for various projects and transactions in Egypt. We serve clients spanning several industries within the Egyptian business corridors, including:
Whether you are seeking to use liberal corporate structuring options offered by joint-stock companies to attract capital through an IPO or are looking to acquire or build a stake in a public company, you can trust Bremer for professional services. Our attorneys are equipped to help you navigate the intricacies of the Egyptian capital markets and public M&A regulations.
The energy industry is highly unpredictable. This sector is characterized by unstable trends caused by constant political pressures, emboldened authorities, changes in demand, and the ever-changing local and regional regulations, presenting significant challenges to businesses operating in the industry. At Bremer, we utilize a comprehensive approach to help clients operating in the energy sector in Egypt mitigate risks and engage in every opportunity in emerging markets.
Media & Telecommunication
Clients operating in Egypt’s media and telecommunication industry turn to Bremer to understand the laws impacting the local, regional, and international media and telecommunication practices. We provide a range of services, including advising clients on policy initiatives, financing, public procurement, and securing antitrust clearances. In addition, our attorneys have the global presence and cultural awareness you need when navigating complex regional regulations or seeking to expand your business interests.
Our lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience working in the automotive industry and can handle every aspect of your business. Undoubtedly, the future of automotive is changing, and while this creates new opportunities, it also presents challenges in equal measure. At Bremer, we are well versed with these dynamics, and we can help you face the challenges confidently to create a successful business.
Transportation & Infrastructure
If you plan to invest in the transportation and infrastructure sector, we can help. Whether you want to launch your first business in Egypt or extend your operations to the country, our lawyers will gladly assist you in seizing procurement and investment opportunities in Egypt.
Antitrust & Merger Control
Regulators in the region have increased their competition oversight and enforcement of mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures, including foreign-to-foreign transactions, due to a remaining lack of transparency in procedures and comparatively lower professionalization and sophistication of regulators and processes navigating merger control review and general antitrust diligently and promptly, challenging.
Therefore, there is a growing need for businesses to consider their competition law exposure in Egypt and the larger MENA region when implementing new business models and contemplating transactions. Bremer’s Cairo-based antitrust and merger control attorneys are dedicated to helping you structure your deals in compliant manners and — where required — have the skillset to ensure your transaction moves through clearance and approval processes on time.
Banking & Finance
Attorneys at Bremer have excellent knowledge and experience advising foreign lenders on structuring and executing ECA-backed projects and export finance transactions. In addition, regardless of the target industry, we can advise you on navigating policies and regulations imposed by various regulatory bodies, including banking and finance regulations and ESG matters. We work with a range of clients, including DFIs and commercial banks, assisting them.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Merger and acquisition transactions can be quite complex, especially if several jurisdictions are involved. Moreover, the ambiguous and ever-changing regulatory standards in African and Middle Eastern regions make it even more challenging.
Our merger and acquisition lawyers will help you understand the intricacies of completing a successful merger & acquisition transaction. Plan to sell or purchase a business in Egypt or with engagements in Egypt. Our lawyers will be at your side through the entire process, from initial deal structuring to closing, to put in place the optimal structure for your growth plans.
Are you interested in government contracts in Egypt? If so, you should note that several laws and regulations govern public procurement. We know how Egyptian procurement laws and procedures work, and we can help you navigate them to win government contracts to support your growing business.
You can rely on our many years of experience and exposure to various industries. We can help in challenging procurement procedures, representing negotiation, and elaborating procurement rules.
Corporate & Joint Venture
At Bremer, we aim to help clients identify new business opportunities in Egypt while staying in compliance with local laws, customs, and regulations. We understand that different opportunities present varying challenges. Therefore, we tailor our services to suit your specific situation. In addition, our team works closely with you to structure and structure local subsidiaries and joint ventures that push your interests to new markets.
Contact Us Today
Are you looking to expand your business to Egypt and need expert and commercial guidance? The business attorneys at Bremer can help. We have vast experience and knowledge in international business law and can provide the support you need to build a new business or expand your operations to Egypt. Contact us now to learn more about our services.
Merger Control Issues in Egypt
In 2017, the regulatory authority for all antitrust matters, including merger control, called the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA), initiated an amendment of the Egyptian competition legislation, the protection of competition, and the prohibition of monopolistic practices.
However, the draft for a new competition law has been held up in parliament since 2017. Still, some progress was made in late November 2020, when it was announced that the Council of Ministers approved a draft proposal to amend competition law. It was later approved on 25 November 2020 but has not been published; because of this, it’s unclear what the amendments will include.
Egyptian Merger Control Law
The Egyptian merger control regime does not apply the same control test as the European Union regime. We’ve been made aware that the amendments to the competition law will include a stronger focus on a change of control.
Current legislation addressing merger control only provides for post-closing notification obligations. The ECA enforces pre-closing notification and stand-still obligations, so parties contemplating transactions must consider notifying the transaction to the ECA pre-closing despite Egyptian law not requiring such notification.
Pre-closing notifications and stand-still obligations also apply to foreign-to-foreign transactions. So, parties contemplating a transaction with reference to Egypt also need to consider that certain sectors are excluded from the application of the competition law.
Bremer’s regional antitrust and merger control practice spans continents and industries with lawyers local to various markets in the Near and Middle East and Africa. Having a presence in Egypt allows us to keep up with new rules and regulations as they change, meaning we’re knowledgeable and available to our MENA region clients.
What Are the Merger Control Thresholds?
The Egyptian merger control regime applies a turnover threshold. In accordance with competition law, a transaction must be notified to the ECA if the combined annual turnover of the parties involved in the transaction is at least EGP 100m, or approximately USD 5.5 m. The ECA will consider the seller’s turnover when assessing whether the threshold is met during an acquisition. Additionally, if only one party meets the threshold, it’ll trigger a notification obligation.
It has been a long-established practice of the ECA to require post-closing notifications under the competition law. The ECA has clarified that the new pre-closing notification obligation applies to foreign-to-foreign transactions.
Are There Specific Issues Parties Should Be Aware Of?
Like most things in business, there are always specificities that need to be accounted for. Current legislation addressing merger control only provides for a post-closing notification obligation. The ECA, however, enforces pre-closing notifications and stand-still obligations. So, parties contemplating transactions with a relevant link to Egypt must consider notifying the transaction to the ECA pre-closing. This must be done even if Egyptian law does not explicitly require such notification.
Is There Any Discretion to Review Transactions Below the Notification Threshold?
It’s unclear whether the ECA would consider reviewing transactions on a discretionary basis. However, under the statutory post-closing notification regime, the ECA is not competent to do so. ECA officials have stated recently that they’ve considered the ECA competent review concerning transitions at its discretion. In the future, the ECA might assume that a transaction could be reviewed even if it’s under the typical notification threshold. They’ll do this if they believe the transaction will significantly impact the competition.
Contact Us to Learn More
We work with our clients to provide solutions, understand their objectives, and develop plans designed to assist them in the MENA region. With our physical presence in the Near and Middle East and Africa, our attorneys are constantly aware of changing cultural and market changes, allowing us to serve your business better. Reach out to us today to discuss how we’re able to troubleshoot issues with mergers in Egypt.
Foreign Direct Investment Overview for Egypt
The changing economic landscape in Egypt is going to have a continued impact on foreign direct investment. If you're investing in Egypt, changes in laws related to tax, labor, intellectual property, and other areas might have an impact on the security and cost of doing business in Egypt.
Changes in tax rates, exemptions, or incentives are all factors that might affect the profitability and competitiveness of foreign-owned businesses operating in Egypt. Additionally, labor laws, changes to minimum wage, working hours, and employee benefits are also factors that might impact the cost of doing business and the competitiveness of the country as a destination for foreign investment.
All this being said, the unexpected changes made to local laws in Egypt can create uncertainty for foreign investors. This can make it hard for them to plan and make investment decisions, which can considerably impact the economy. Additionally, it can negatively impact FDI, reducing the flow of investments into Egypt.
Egypt's government is aware of the importance of stable and predictable foreign investment. It has continued to take steps to increase transparency in the legislative process to minimize any negative impact that changes in the law might cause on the economy. In order to ensure that FDI is an attractive option, Egypt has taken steps to provide transition periods, grandfather clauses, and other measures to mitigate the impacts of changes in laws on existing foreign-owned businesses.
A designated FDI review process—as applied for example in different European Union member states—does not yet exist in Egypt. Instead Egyptian FDI regulations take a more traditional approach. They primarily focus on static restrictions prohibiting FDI in certain sectors and providing incentives for investments in other sectors or certain regions. These incentives includes tax breaks and holidays, waiver of certain regulatory requirements and grants.
Investment Zones and Their Impact on Egypt
Egypt is equipped with investment and free trade zones that act as designated spaces for foreign investors to enjoy special privileges and benefits meant to attract investments and economic development. These zones are governed by laws and regulations specifically designed to be more favorable to foreign investors and differ from the general laws that apply to the rest of the country.
Benefits of Investment and Free Trade Zones in Egypt:
Tax exemptions: Foreign investors are usually exempt from paying income tax, corporate tax, and value-added tax within these zones.
Streamlined procedures: The process of setting up and operating a business in an investment or free trade zone is generally easier and faster than in the rest of the country, with streamlined procedures for obtaining licenses, permits, and other approvals.
Custom duties: Goods imported into or exported from an investment or free trade zone are typically exempt from customs duties, making it easier and cheaper for businesses to import the raw materials and equipment they need for their operations.
Protection of intellectual property: Investors in these zones may enjoy stronger protection for their intellectual property rights, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
Access to finance: Investors in these zones may have easier access to financing, as the government may provide financial support or guarantee loans for businesses operating in the zone.
Contact Bremer Law for More Insight
Whether you're looking to learn more about FDI or how your business might benefit from investing in Egypt, contact Bremer Law.