Cleary Gottlieb has worked in emerging markets since the firm’s inception and is regularly praised for groundbreaking work in a range of developing economies.

We have significant experience across the globe in Africa, Asia, emerging Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Our clients value our understanding of the legal and commercial environment in emerging markets, our cultural diversity and awareness, our flexible approach to often complex political, regulatory and business environments, and our insights into how to ensure that transactions are completed in a seamless and cost-effective manner.

We represent governments, state-owned entities, public and private corporations, private equity and leveraged-buyout firms, institutional and private investors, as well as banks and financial advisors in areas including project finance, capital markets, sovereign debt restructurings and issuances, privatizations, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity, corporate restructurings and international arbitration and litigations.

Our lawyers are recognized for advising on the most complex transactions, and our firm’s structure allows us to provide seamless coverage across all jurisdictions.

Notable Experience


  • The Coca-Cola Company in connection with its wholly owned subsidiary African Refreshments Limited’s two-stage acquisition of C.H.I Limited from Tropical General Investments Limited.

  • Ivory Coast in its CFA 150 billion debut Sukuk offering using the Ijara (forward lease) structure, and in its landmark $1 billion sovereign Eurobond offering.

  • Republic of Congo in defending an ICC arbitration initiated by Commisimpex, a corporation incorporated in the Congo, asserting a claim in excess of €700 million.

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China and Hong Kong

  • Hony Capital, as a member of a consortium led by Shanghai Giant Network Technology, in the $4.4 billion acquisition of Caesar Entertainment Corp.’s online casino-style games unit Playtika Ltd.

  • Lenovo in its $2.1 billion acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business.

  • McDonald’s Corporation in the sale to CITIC Limited, CITIC Capital Holdings and The Carlyle Group of a majority stake in a company that will act as the master franchisee responsible for McDonald’s businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong.

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  • MBK Partners and its affiliates in their $6.1 billion acquisition of Homeplus and its subsidiaries from Tesco PLC, representing the largest purchase ever by a private equity firm in Asia.

  • TPG in its investment in Union Bank of Colombo, representing the largest foreign investment ever in the Sri Lankan banking industry.

  • Samsung BioLogics and the selling shareholder, Samsung Electronics, in its Won 2.2 trillion (approximately $2 billion) IPO of common shares, representing the fourth-largest IPO in Korean history.

  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), which raised $9.3 billion for its third flagship Asia private equity fund, KKR Asian Fund III L.P., which is the largest-ever Asia-focused private equity fund.

  • ING Life Insurance Korea, Ltd., one of the premier life insurance companies in Korea, in its ₩1.1 trillion (approximately $1 billion) IPO of common shares.

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India and Pakistan

  • ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company, in connection with a capital increase of 2.8 billion euros ($3.2 billion) that closed in April 2016. ArcelorMittal raised the capital through a rights offering to shareholders.

  • Dhabi Group, owner of Warid Telecom Pakistan LLC (WTPL), in the merger of WTPL’s subsidiary Warid Telecom with Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (Mobilink), representing the first merger in the mobile telecommunications sector in Pakistan.

  • Credit Suisse Securities (India), Deutsche Equities India, DSP Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs (India) Securities, JM Financial Institutional Securities, Kotak Securities and SBICap Securities as brokers in the $3.6 billion sale of shares in Coal India by the Government of India, in one of the largest-ever equity deals in India.

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Latin America

  • Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, UBS and BTG in the $482 million global initial public offering of BanBajío, one of Mexico’s major commercial banks.

  • Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras), in its SEC-registered reopening of $1 billion principal amount of its 6.125 percent global notes due 2022, $2 billion principal amount of its 7.375 percent global notes due 2027 and $1 billion principal amount of its 7.250 percent global notes due 2044.

  • The Republic of Argentina in connection with its $16.5 billion debt offering, marking the country´s return to international markets after 15 years of absence.

  • The Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation and Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares in the $6 billion financing for the construction and development of the new Mexico City International Airport, including a $2 billion green bond and $3 billion syndicated loan, both reportedly the largest of their kind in the history of Latin America.

  • Citigroup in claims exceeding $1 billion in a battle for corporate control of Brasil Telecom, including representing Techold Participações, a Brazilian company controlled by a Citigroup fund, and certain pension funds for Brazilian government entities, in four ICC arbitrations in London and Paris against Telecom Italia.

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Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Oman Investment Fund, the Omani sovereign wealth fund, as senior creditor in connection with the restructuring of Blue City, the $15 billion megacity project in the Sultanate of Oman.

  • Republic of Iraq in its $1 billion notes offering to be backed by a full faith and credit guarantee issued by the United States of America, acting by and through the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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Russia and CIS

  • Owens Corning, a global company that develops and produces insulation, roofing and fiberglass composites, in connection with a voluntary tender offer (VTO) to purchase shares of its 88 percent-owned Russian subsidiary OCV Steklovolokno from minority shareholders.

  • Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation in $3 billion English Court victory. The High Court granted an application for summary judgment in a case against Ukraine for repayment of a US$3 billion Eurobond issued by Ukraine.

  • SIBUR in connection with Sinopec’s strategic partnership with SIBUR and acquisition of a 10 percent shareholding in the company, and in the sale of a 10 percent shareholding in the company to Silk Road Fund.

  • Eurasian Resources Group in its $5.2 billion dual-track debt restructuring, a complex transaction involving parallel negotiations with VTB and Sberbank with bifurcated terms including different security/covenant packages.

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