A&O and Latham lead on $2bn landmark Islamic bond

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Latham & Watkins have taken the lead roles on a landmark $2bn (£1.3bn) Islamic bond for the Saudi Electricity Company.

The deal, reportedly the Middle East’s largest Rule 144A sukuk to date, comprises both a 10-year and 30-year maturity term – the latter being the longest duration for any senior unsecured sukuk to date. 

A&O acted for the utilities company, a longstanding client of the firm, with a London-based team led by banking partner Atif Hanif and capital markets partners Sachin Dave and Jamie Durham. 

Partner Stephen Fiamma advised on US tax aspects, while capital markets partner Roger Wedderburn-Day handled disclosure matters.

Dave said: “It was a novel deal to work on. This will be a trendsetter as it shows that Islamic structures are also attractive to US institutional investors – from our perspective there have been a lot of domestic deals, but this one can open many doors for Saudi and other Middle East issuers looking to gain a foothold in the US.”

A&O Saudi ally Zeyad S Khoshaim Law Firm provided local law advice, with partner Zeyad Khoshaim – also a partner at A&O – in the lead role.

Meanwhile, Latham advised joint lead managers Deutsche Bank and HSBC, with a team headed by finance partner Craig Nethercott.