Latham & Watkins advised JPMorgan, Samba Financial Group and Saudi British Bank, as Mandated Lead Arrangers, in connection with a SR3.2bn murabaha bridge financing for The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri).
The financing will be used to fund the cash consideration and associated costs of merging Vela International Marine Limited (Vela) assets and operations with Bahri. The merger, which represents the largest ever private sector corporate merger in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will make Bahri the third-largest owner of VLCCs in the world.
The overall value of the merger is $1.3bn with Saudi Aramco owning 20% of Bahri shares. As part of the agreement, Bahri, under a long-term shipping contract, also becomes the exclusive carrier of all Saudi Aramco VLCC sized crude oil cargos sold on a delivered basis.
Salman Al-Sudairi, Office Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins in Riyadh who led the team, commented, “We are delighted to have represented the banks on this milestone financing for Bahri. This financing represents one of the largest merger financings to date in the Saudi market and is a testament to the continued growth and increased sophistication of financings in this market.”
The Latham team was led by Al-Sudairi, with counsel Amar Meher and associates Mahmoud Abdel-Baky and Megren Al-Shaalan in Riyadh as well as partner Dan Maze and associates Matthew Hope and Alistair McKechnie in London.