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AMJ Deals

AMJ advises Qatar Petroleum on deal with Oman for Block 52

Filed under AMJ Deals, AMJ News, Insurance, Oil and Gas

AMJ has advised Qatar Petroleum on the acquisition of a 30% participating interest in the contractor’s interest under the exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) for Block 52 offshore of Oman. The deal involved AMJ advising Qatar Petroleum on Oman’s corporate, oil and gas and environmental laws and related regulatory approvals.

Following the completion of the assignment, the contractor under the EPSA will consist of affiliates of Eni with a 55% stake, Qatar Petroleum with 30% and Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production LLC with 15%.

Block 52 is an area of more than 90,000 km2 located offshore in the southern region of Oman extending from Al Wusta region towards Dhofar, encompassing the Hallaniyat islands. Largely under-explored, it is located in water depths ranging from 10 meters to over 2,000 meters. Following acquisition of the interest by Qatar Petroleum, the contractors are expected to embark on executing an exploration programme involving the acquisition and processing of 3D seismic which would be followed by exploratory drilling.

The AMJ team comprised senior partner, Mansoor Malik, and senior associate, Asad Qayyum. Allen & Overy acted as international counsel to Qatar Petroleum on the deal.

Commenting on the deal, Malik said “It is a pleasure to have advised Qatar Petroleum on its first hydrocarbon interest acquisition in Oman. As a premier LNG explorer and operator in the world, Qatar Petroleum’s entry into Oman is indicative of the attractive opportunities for investment available in the country”.

AMJ advises Howden Broking Group on key Oman acquisition

Filed under AMJ Deals, AMJ News, Insurance

HowdenBrokingGroup

AMJ recently advised leading insurance group, Howden Broking Group on the acquisition of a majority stake from the founder shareholders of New Generation Insurance Services in Oman. The new entity is renamed Howden Insurance Brokers LLC. The parties agreed not to disclose details of the transaction terms.

Howden is the retail broking arm of UK-based Hyperion Insurance Group, the world’s largest employee-owned insurance group which employs more than 3,800 people across 38 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

This transaction represents a major step in the development of Howden’s business in Oman. David Howden, CEO of Howden and parent company Hyperion said in a statement to the press that “Oman has a rapidly growing insurance market and one to which we can bring a fresh approach for clients by leveraging our existing expertise in the region as well as the wider Group’s access to specialist products and markets in London and internationally.”

AMJ’s was led by senior partner, Mansoor Malik, and senior associate, Asad Qayyum working closely with in-house counsel at Howden and Hyperion.

AMJ advises on US$728mn Salalah Methanol financing

Filed under AMJ Deals, AMJ News, Banking and Finance

Salalah Methanol financing

AMJ recently acted as Oman legal counsel advising a syndicate of international, regional and local financial institutions on the US$728 million project financing of the Salalah ammonia project which closed in August 2017.

The 12-year facility was partly used to refinance the existing debt of Salalah Methanol Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oman Oil Company, with the remaining US$443 million allocated to develop a new ammonia plant in Salalah.

Clifford Chance acted as international counsel for the lenders group which comprised of a syndicate of 12 lenders led by Standard Chartered Bank.

The AMJ team was led by Marcus Pery, banking and finance partner, with support from senior associate Andrew Coddington. Commenting on the transaction, Marcus Pery said: “There was a very strong appetite for the financing of this project from both local and international institutions and we are delighted to have assisted in helping the transaction to reach financial close within a relatively short period of time.”

AMJ advises Oman Government on US$2billion international sukuk

Filed under AMJ Deals, AMJ News, Capital Markets, Islamic Banking and Finance, Sukuk

Oman's US$2billion sukuk

AMJ has advised the Government of Oman and the issuer, Oman Sovereign Sukuk Company, on the Omani law aspects of establishing an unlimited sukuk alijarah trust certificate issuance programme, and the debut US$2bn international sukuk issuance under the Programme. The Programme was listed on the Irish Stock Exchange in mid-May and followed by the US$2bn sovereign issuance which settled on June 1.

The sukuk facility, which has a seven-year tenor and profit rate of 4.397 percent, was effected under Rule 144A and Regulation S and listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

The final order book was reportedly in excess of US$6.9 billion, more than three times the issue size, which demonstrates strong international demand for Oman’s high-yielding debt despite the country’s recent credit downgrade by Standard and Poor.

The transaction marks a number of firsts; the Programme is the first of its kind established by the Government; the sukuk issuance is Oman’s largest-ever; and the Sovereign’s first public offer of sukuk in the international market. The issuance marks Oman’s second foray into the international debt capital markets this year following a US$5 billion multi-tranche conventional bond sale in March upon which AMJ also advised. The funds raised by the two issuances are expected to meet a significant portion of the Sultanate’s requirements for 2017.

Mansoor Malik, managing partner, supported by senior Islamic Finance associate Asad Qayyum acted as Oman counsel to the Government and the issuer. Clifford Chance acted as international counsel. Alizz Islamic Bank, Citi, Dubai Islamic Bank, Gulf International Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered Bank were the sukuk book-runners.

In mid-2016, AMJ acted as sole counsel to the government on the Sultanate’s first international US$500 million sukuk issuance, which was privately placed. In two earlier ‘first of a kind’ transactions, AMJ advised the issue manager and joint lead managers on Oman’s debut US$648 million sovereign sukuk in 2015 and on Oman’s first-ever corporate issuance in 2013.

AMJ advises on transport and logistics restructuring

Filed under AMJ Deals, AMJ News, Oman Economy

Oman transport and logisticss

AMJ has advised on the establishment of Oman Global Logistics Group SAOC (OGL), the government’s new transport and logistics development arm. OGL, which has a mandate to implement the nation’s long-term ‘Sultanate of Oman Logistics Strategy 2040’, will bring under one umbrella the 15 different transport and logistics-related undertakings operating in the Sultanate’s ports, free zones, rail, maritime and land transport sectors.

This represents the first restructuring of its kind in Oman undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport and Communications. A complex deal, it involved transferring shares and assets held in logistics companies by the Ministry of Finance jointly or in partnership with other private or public sector entities, as well as management control, to the new group company. The hybrid nature of the transaction tested the application and interplay of special provisions and exemptions in Oman’s law relating to companies and capital markets.

AMJ acted as sole legal advisor on the restructuring. Managing partner Mansoor Malik, who led the team, commented, ‘We are pleased to have contributed to this important restructuring of a strategic sector which is key to the government’s diversification drive and future economic prosperity. The establishment of Oman Global Logistics Company SAOC will create economies of scale and efficiencies for government-run companies by consolidating managerial and technical expertise and integrating and streamlining operations.’

AMJ’s team included Nasar Ahmad, senior corporate associate and commercial transactions associate Ahmed Al Busaidy.