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David Foster

Partner

David is Managing Partner of META (Middle East, Turkey and Africa) and Dubai.

He specialises in M&A transactions, including public takeovers, private acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, strategic investments and venture capital/growth capital investments.

David is recognised in the Hall of Fame in the Legal 500 rankings for the UAE, as a Market Leader in the IFLR1000 rankings for the UAE and is also ranked in Band 1 for Corporate/M&A in the UAE by Chambers & Partners.

David acts for a wide range of clients, including corporates, financial sponsors and government entities, across multiple sectors. He has advised on some of the most complex and high-value M&A transactions in the region (including a number of “market firsts”) and has been based in the UAE since 2008. Clients value David’s breadth and depth of expertise and his ability to “get the deal done”, describing him as commercially astute, a diligent and pragmatic advisor and a go-to figure for market-leading M&A transactions.

Experience

Representative matters

A consortium led by Fajr Capital on the acquisition of a 65% stake in the GCC business of Aster DM Healthcare. 

A financial investor on an investment of USD5bn in three of DP World’s flagship UAE assets. 

Infinigate Group AG, a pan-European value-added distributor of cybersecurity solutions and a portfolio company of Bridgepoint, on its merger with StarLink.

Mubadala on the sale of stakes in Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) to Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

GEMS Education and the Varkey Group on the sale of a minority stake in GEMS MENASA to CVC Capital Partners (one of the largest ever private equity transactions in the Middle East). 

Investcorp on leading the USD100m Pre-IPO round in TruKKer, the largest digital freight network in the MENA region. 

Prosus, one of the world’s largest global technology investors, as the lead investor on a USD170m Series C fundraising by Foodics. 

Checkout.com on its investments in BNPL provider Tamara (one of the largest ever investments raised by a fintech in the MENA region). 

OLX Group on the merger of its businesses in the UAE, Egypt, Pakistan and Lebanon with Emerging Markets Property Group, creating a combined group with a value of USD1bn. 

Souq Group, and certain number of its shareholders, on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Souq (the owner and operator of souq.com) to a multinational technology company (one of the largest ever technology-related M&A transactions in the Arab world). 

Gulf Capital on its acquisition of IVI Fertility Clinic LLC and its subsidiaries, a group specialising in the provision of assisted reproduction and ancillary services. 

dnata (part of the Emirates Group) on the sale of its mercator business division to Warburg Pincus. 

AES Corporation and IDB Infrastructure Fund on the successful competitive sales process for the disposal of three separate Middle East power generating businesses to three separate buyers. 

Thuraya Telecommunications Company and its majority shareholders on the sale of a majority stake in Thuraya Telecommunications Company to Al Yah Satellite Communication Company PJSC. 

Aldar Properties on its USD4.5bn merger with Sorouh Real Estate (the first public company merger implemented under the universal succession provisions of the UAE Companies Law).

Rubicon Technology partners and Cin7 Americas, Inc. on the acquisition by Cin7 Americas, Inc. of the business and assets of the DEAR Group.

Recognition
David helps us with large, complex, cross-border M&A deals. He is hard-working, commercial, always available and easy to work with.
CHAMBERS GLOBAL 2024 (UAE, CORPORATE/M&A)
David is fantastic. He is level-headed, down-to-earth and practical. He is commercially astute and very good in terms of communication.
CHAMBERS GLOBAL 2022 (UAE, CORPORATE/M&A)

Qualifications

Admissions

Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 2006

Academic

LLB, Law with American Law, The University of Nottingham, 2002

LPC, Nottingham Law School, 2003

Dubai
Allen Overy Shearman Sterling LLP (practising in the Emirate of Dubai as “Allen & Overy RLLP” pending the registration completion of the new name with the relevant UAE local authorities) is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC306763.
Disclaimer
A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.