Latham & Watkins advised Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), the leading telecommunications services provider in the UAE, on its debut issuance of $4.3 billion notes, the Middle East region’s largest ever corporate issuance. The issuance comprised four tranches, consisting of US dollar and Euro issuances, with maturities ranging from five to 12 years and unprecedentedly low pricing.
The proceeds of the issuance were utilised by Etisalat to refinance a bridge facility used to fund its EUR 4.2 billion (US$5.7 billion) purchase of a majority stake in Morocco’s Maroc Telecom from France’s Vivendi. The issue’s success was due partly to factors specific to Etisalat, which is rated Aa3/AA-/A+ by the main credit agencies, as well as to robust market conditions.
Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and RBS acted as the Lead Managers for the issuance. The notes were offered to investors internationally outside the United States pursuant to Regulation S of the US Securities Act of 1933.
The Latham & Watkins team was led by partners Nomaan Raja and Andrew Tarbuck, with associates Lee Irvine and Basil Al-Jafari.
Partner Nomaan Raja said: “The Gulf region continues to show extremely strong capital markets performance, and this tremendously successful issuance by Etisalat is a testament not only to the strength of the Etisalat credit but also to the vibrancy of the regional markets”.