Charbel Abou Charaf
Charbel Abou Charaf is a local partner in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group. Previously based in our New York office, Charbel focuses on domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, equity investments and divestitures in a broad range of industries, and also assists clients in general corporate matters, restructurings, and capital markets transactions.
Charbel has advised on landmark transactions in the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa, and has particular experience in complex cross-border transactions involving emerging markets.
Regularly assisting international clients, both public and private, Charbel has worked on high-profile transactions which have set new market precedent such as the US$5.3 billion Barwa asset sale transaction, which was recognized as Domestic M&A Deal of the Year at the 2014 IFLR Awards.
Charbel is the pro bono coordinator of the firm for the MENA region, working with a wide variety of organisations, charities and individuals on numerous matters involving human rights, micro-finance, education, culture and arts.
Charbel was awarded the Rising Star of the Year award at the 2016 IFLR Awards.
Investment in e-commerce platform
Represented the investment arm of a prominent GCC-based conglomerate in the acquisition of a stake in a leading operator of online businesses in the MENA region.
Insurance technology asset sale
Represented a technology company in the sale of custom life insurance software, including the transfer of intellectual property rights, employees and equipment, to a Germany-based global life insurance company.
Investment in US technology companies
Represented a large GCC-based family office in private equity investments in California-based technology companies in the education and healthcare sectors.
Investment in Didi China
Represented a major GCC-based financial institution in a private equity investment in Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc. (Didi Chuxing), the largest on-demand taxi app service in China.
Investment in Uber
Represented a leading institutional investor in a private equity investment in Uber Technologies, Inc.
NPCC equity investment
Represented Abu Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), one of the largest oil & gas engineering and construction companies in the Middle East, in its acquisition of a stake in a leading European conceptual engineering company in the oil & gas and nuclear fields, with operations in Europe and Asia.
Investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Represented Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) in its first investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
US$5.3 billion Barwa asset sales
Represented Qatari Diar and Barwa Real Estate in Barwa's US$5.3 billion sale of assets comprising major real estate projects in Qatar including Barwa City and Barwa Commercial Avenue and a significant stake in Barwa Bank, in one of the largest ever M&A transactions in Qatar (Domestic M&A Deal of the Year 2014 – IFLR).
Katara Hospitality purchase of European luxury hotels
Represented Katara Hospitality, the Qatar-based global owner, developer and operator of hotels, in the acquisition of five luxury hotels managed by InterContinental in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, including the InterContinental Carlton Cannes and the InterContinental De La Ville Roma.
US$500 million investment in Russia's second-largest bank
Represented Qatar Holding LLC in its first investment into Russia, a US$500 million equity investment in JSC VTB Bank (VTB), Russia's second largest bank and an entity listed on the Moscow Exchange.
Sale of telecom operator in the Republic of Congo
Represented Dhabi Group in the sale of the entire share capital of Warid Congo S.A., a leading mobile telecom operator in the Republic of Congo, to a member of Bharti Group, one of the major telecom operators in the world.
Investment in India
Represented Al Dahra, one of the major entities responsible for the food security program of the United Arab Emirates, in its acquisition of a stake in Kohinoor Foods Ltd, a company listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and one of India's major rice producers.
Equity stake in The Chernin Group
Represented Qatar Holding LLC in its acquisition of a significant stake in US-based media and entertainment company The Chernin Group.
The Mergers & Acquisitions Review, Law Business Research, 11th edition, November 2018 , co-author of the chapter on Qatar
Corporate Acquisitions and Mergers, Kluwer Law International, 3rd edition, 2017, co-author of the chapter on Qatar
Bound to Cooperate: The New Qatar Central Bank Law, Private Sector Magazine, October 2013, co-author
The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Corporate Governance 2010, Global Legal Group, 3rd Edition, 2010, co-author of the chapter on Qatar
Money Laundering Overview: Qatar, 2008, Complinet
The Insurance Industry in Qatar, 2007, Complinet
Rising Star of the Year, IFLR Awards (2016)
Notable practitioner, Chambers Global (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Next Generation Lawyer, The Legal 500 (2017, 2018, 2019)