J.S. Held Expands African Market Presence with Acquisition of Africa Matters Limited 

Business Services


London 12th June 2023 – Polestar has advised the shareholders of Africa Matters Limited on its sale to New York-based J.S. Held. 

Global consulting firm J.S. Held announced on 1st of June that it has acquired Africa Matters Limited, an Africa-focused strategic advisory firm providing business intelligence, stakeholder engagement, and sustainability & ESG consulting services. Africa Matters Limited advises investors as they grow and expand across the African continent, as well as working with clients and host governments to find common ground and points of alignment on investment and trade issues. 

Headquartered in London, with an office in Kampala, Uganda, the acquisition allows J.S. Held to expand its investigations practice into Africa, while also providing clients of Africa Matters Limited access to new resources and experts within J.S Held’s team of more than 1,500 professionals. 

Ross Alexander, Executive Chairman of African Matters Limited, shares:

I never thought selling the company (that I was a major shareholder in) would be such a complex and long process. Selling to an American buyer also presented its own unique challenges. On both fronts; 1. The complexity and length of the process and 2. The nature of the buyer; Polestar’s team, led by Charlie Whelan, was critical to the successful outcome we reached. Charlie was relentless in his laser like approach to ‘mission critical’ issues that frequently arose and he acted with speed and commercial savvy at all times. Conor Barrett was particularly helpful as the deal moved towards completion and was efficient and accurate when compiling daily reports on key deal related numbers.” 

Charles Whelan of Polestar added:

“We are delighted to have helped this impressive team, one of the leading advisory firms across the African continent, to join J.S. Held – a global, multi-disciplinary consulting practice. This acquisition immediately opens up Africa, which is growing rapidly in significance, to J.S. Held’s expanding New York and London teams.”

Philip Worman, Senior Managing Director in the London office of J.S. Held commented:

“The acquisition of Africa Matters Limited expands J.S. Held’s Global Investigations Practice and our wider business, further strengthening our expertise in risk consulting. Africa Matters Limited has deep expertise and experience in Africa, strengthening our ability to help clients enter these fast-growing and complex markets.” 

Africa Matters Limited was advised by Polestar and Stevens & Bolton. J.S. Held was advised by Colm Advisory and Goodwin.


By Charles Whelan on 12/06/2023