Al Busaidy Mansoor Jamal & Co.

Barristers and Legal Consultants

AMJ Deals

AMJ advises on Falcon and Arabia Insurance’s landmark deal

Filed under AMJ Deals, AMJ News, Insurance

Falcon insurance merger

AMJ recently acted as sole counsel at the request of both parties with regard to a complex share-purchase transaction in the insurance sector. The transaction, which completed at the end of March, involved the transfer of the Oman branch assets of Lebanese Arabia Insurance SAL, to Omani insurer, Falcon Insurance SAOC. Contemporaneous with Falcon’s acquisition of Arabia’s Oman branch insurance portfolio, Arabia Insurance acquired a majority share (54.29%) in Falcon.The deal involved a number of ‘firsts‘, namely the:-

 first ever transfer of a life insurance portfolio by court order in accordance with article 39 of Oman’s Insurance Law;
 first ever transfer of business (both life and general insurance) from a foreign insurer’s branch operation to an Omani closed joint stock insurance company requiring approval of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI);
 first ever settlement of a business transfer consideration by the issue of shares to the seller’s wholly-owned subsidiary requiring approval by the MOCI of the business valuation;
 simultaneous acquisition of a majority stake and transfer of insurance portfolio requiring approvals from the MOCI, Capital Market Authority and the court.

AMJ’s team, led by Mansoor Malik, Managing Partner, advised on all aspects of the deal drafting the transaction documents and article 39 application to the court as well as assisting the client to obtain all the regulatory approvals necessary for successful completion.

The team also included corporate transactions partner, Ahmed Hashim, senior associates Nasar Ahmad, Majda Al Riyami and Abdullatif Al Rawahi, and associate Ahmed Al Busaidy.

Dentons Oman branch advised Falcon’s majority shareholder on the sale of its shares to Arabia.

AMJ advises Bank Muscat on US$525 million term facility

Filed under AMJ Deals, AMJ News, Banking and Finance

Bank Muscat  US$525 million term facility

AMJ has advised Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest bank by assets, on a three-year term loan facility of US$525 million with a consortium of 12 relationship banks which closed on March 8. Part of the proceeds of the loan, which was coordinated by Bank ABC and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, will be used to refinance the bank’s existing term loan of US$600 million which the Bank raised in 2014. The remainder will be used for project financing and general corporate financing.

Bank ABC and National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC acted as Joint Coordinators and Mizuho Bank as Facility Agent. The Bookrunners and Mandated Lead Arrangers of the term loan facility were Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Bank ABC, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, ICBC, Mizuho Bank Ltd, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Wells Fargo Bank. Landesbank Baden-Württemberg joined as a Mandated Lead Arranger

The transaction was subscribed 1.5 times. According to AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, “The strong response by the participating banks reflects the positive outlook on the Sultanate’s economic development [..and] underscores the confidence in the bank’s financials in the prevailing economic situation.”

Marcus Pery, banking and finance partner, led AMJ’s team. Linklaters LLP, UK acted for the Arranger and the Agent

AMJ advises Oman government on US$5 billion bond

Filed under AMJ Deals, AMJ News, Capital Markets

Irish stock exchange

AMJ has advised the government on Omani law aspects of the country’s largest debt capital markets issue to date. The US$5 billion offering in tranches of five, 10 and 30 years was settled on 8 March 2017. The five-year tranche totalled US$1 billion, while the 10- and 30-year tranches raised US$2 billion each. The bonds were offered and sold in reliance on Rule 144A and Regulation S and were admitted to trading on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Order books for the issue which marks the Sultanate’s return to the international debt capital markets after an absence of two decades, reportedly totalled $20 billion, demonstrating strong international demand for Oman’s high-yielding debt.Most long term bonds were taken up by US investors in the United States thereby reducing the impact of Oman’s bond on liquidity within the region while the five year tranche was more in demand with Gulf based investors. The proceeds from the bond sale represent almost the entirety of Oman’s foreign borrowing requirement for 2017 which the government intends to use to cover around two thirds of the country’s expected budget deficit of US$ 7.8 million. The remainder will be covered from state reserves and domestic borrowing.

Mansoor Malik, managing partner, led AMJ’s team supported by senior associate Asad Qayyum. Clifford Chance acted as International Counsel to the government. Bank Muscat, Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ICBC Standard, JP Morgan, Société Générale, and Standard Chartered Bank were joint-lead managers for the bond.

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 Oman’s international sukuk issuance

Filed under AMJ Deals, Capital Markets, Sukuk

Oman Islamic finance - sukuk regulation

AMJ acted as sole Omani Counsel to all the parties on the Oman government’s recent US$500mn sukuk issuance. The sovereign sukuk issuance, Oman’s first US dollar-denominated sukuk issuance, was privately placed by Oman Sovereign Sukuk S.A.O.C, a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Oman and wholly owned by the Government of Oman.

The certificates were priced with a profit rate of 3.5% per annum, payable semi-annually. As in the case of Oman’s debut sovereign sukuk, the certificates are based on an al-Ijarah structure. The tenor is 6 years with maturity date of July 14, 2022.

Standard Chartered Bank acted as lead manager and placement agent for the issuance and Deutsche Bank as the certificate-holders’ agent and principal paying agent.

The purpose of this sophomore issuance is to finance ongoing development projects as well as to raise Oman’s profile in international debt markets. The issuance met with strong demand from investors despite a Baa1 rating by Moody’s compared to its A1 rating for the previous sovereign issuance.

Commenting on the deal, AMJ managing partner, Mansoor Malik, said, “It is a testament to investor confidence in Oman’s stable outlook and the government’s risk profile that, despite the rating downgrade, this international issuance achieved the same pricing as the previous sovereign issuance. We are pleased to have played our part in another landmark transaction in Oman’s Islamic finance space and to assist efforts to maintain forward momentum in the economy during challenging times.”

Mansoor Malik led AMJ’s team which included corporate and capital markets partner, Ardeshir Patel, and senior Islamic Finance associate Asad Qayyum. The same team acted as Oman Counsel to the issue manager and joint lead managers on Oman’s debut sovereign transaction in 2015.

Allen and Overy acted as International Counsel for Standard Chartered Bank and Clifford Chance as International Counsel for Oman Sovereign Sukuk S.A.O.C and the Government.

AMJ advises TeO on US$25mn acquisition of Renna Mobile

Filed under AMJ Deals, AMJ News

Oman Telecom acquisition

AMJ has advised Integrated Telecommunications Oman (TeO) on its US$25mn acquisition of all shares in Majan Telecommunications (Renna Mobile).
TeO is Oman’s first private Class I licensee international gateway operator providing mobile and fixed services under the operating brand Telecom Oman. Renna is Oman’s first Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) with more than half a million subscribers in Oman. The transaction makes Renna a subsidiary of TeO.

This strategic acquisition of Renna’s data and voice services will enable TeO to expand its operations and capabilities and fulfil its goal of providing integrated telecommunications services in the Sultanate.The acquisition was conditional on approval by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. As part of the acquisition process, AMJ was required to advise extensively on the law relating to the waiver of pre-emption rights by minority shareholders.

AMJ’s team was led by Mansoor Malik, Managing Partner, supported by Asad Qayyum, Senior Associate. Commenting on the transaction, Malik said: “This is a significant transaction in the development of Oman’s telecommunications sector, and for TeO. We are delighted to have played our part in helping TeO) to complete this transaction successfully, and look forward to continuing to support the business in the future”.