Global Law Firm O'Melveny & Myers Plays Critical Role in Creation of New Holding Company for DC Area Nonprofit

May 04, 2010


Danielle Duran Baron, 301.587.4700 x1821


Tina McCormack, 301-585-5034


Sonja Steptoe, 213.430.6384



SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND (MAY 4, 2010)— On Wednesday, April 14, CHF International (CHF), the Silver Spring, MD based international development and humanitarian assistance organization, announced the creation of a private holding company, CHF Finance Group, for its commercially oriented global microfinance subsidiaries.  The innovative deal was made possible through the in-kind donation of pro bono hours by O’Melveny & Myers LLP, a Los Angeles-origin law firm with offices throughout the world.


Counsel Rufus Gandhi and associate Sam Roseme, from the Singapore and San Francisco offices respectively, led the project with John Laco of Los Angeles serving as the partner in charge. Gabe Bloch, Dan Whitmore, Svetlana Attestatova, and Michelle Chamberlain, former associates from O’Melveny, also worked on the deal.


The firm worked with CHF for 18 months participating in all aspects of the project, from negotiating the equity term sheet, to finalizing legal agreements, to helping with closing documents. O’Melveny & Myers brought invaluable knowledge and experience in corporate and transaction law to help a nonprofit organization negotiate its first equity transaction deal.  Until now, CHF had only negotiated and secured debt and grant funding.


As a benchmark of success, CHF has recently signed with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the first minority investor in the CHF holding company. O’Melveny lawyers will continue to assist the transfer of assets process from the nonprofit parent CHF International to the commercial holding company, drafting resolutions and share transfer agreements, papers covering issuance of shares, and other closing documents. The firm will complete a total of six agreements during the partnership including articles of amendment, subscription agreement, operating agreement, and other company and transaction documents. 


The deal, supported by the CHF and O’Melveny & Myers partnership, is a landmark decision by a network non-profit organization to commercialize and consolidate its operations as a way to grow through socially responsible investment, rather than donor funding. CHF Finance Group will be seeded initially with four of CHF International’s microfinance subsidiaries, including Express Finance S.A. in Romania and Ameen S.A.L. in Lebanon at the outset, followed by the Middle East Micro Credit Company (MEMCC) in Jordan and Lider MicroCredit Company in Bosnia, pending their registration under new local laws.


CHF International (CHF) is an international development organization founded in1952 that works in post-conflict, unstable and developing countries.  CHF partners with communities around the world to help them to improve and direct their lives and livelihoods.  The organization believes that those best suited to decide what a community needs are the community itself.  CHF is a politically neutral, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. CHF Development Finance International LLC (“The CHF Finance Group”) is a limited liability company registered in the State of Maryland and majority owned by CHF International. The Group was created to house the commercial ownership of financial institutions in which CHF has an equity position. For more information, visit www.chfinternational.org.


With approximately 1,000 lawyers in 14 offices worldwide, O'Melveny & Myers LLP helps industry leaders across a broad array of sectors manage the complex challenges of succeeding in the global economy. We are a values-driven law firm, guided by the principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. Our commitment to these values is reflected in our dedication to improving access to justice through pro bono work and championing initiatives that increase the diversity of the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.omm.com