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International law firm Trowers & Hamlins has advised on the initial public offering of The Pearl REIF, Oman's largest Shariah-compliant real estate investment fund.

International law firm Trowers & Hamlins has advised on the initial public offering of The Pearl REIF, Oman's largest Shariah-compliant real estate investment fund.

The firm advised Sohar International Bank S.A.O.G. (Sohar) and EFG-Hermes UAE Limited (acting jointly with EFG Hermes UAE LLC) (EFG Hermes) as joint global coordinator and bookrunner, and Sohar as issue manager and investment manager on the initial public offering (IPO) of 208,137,400 units in The Pearl Real Estate Investment Fund (Pearl REIF) to investors across Oman and the GCC, which have been listed on the Muscat Stock Exchange.

Pearl REIF is Oman's largest Shariah-compliant real estate investment fund to date with a total asset value of OMR 90,641,000 (approximately USD 235,000,000), and the IPO is backed by (1) Oman Investment Authority – the sovereign fund of the Sultanate of Oman; and (2) Oman Telecommunications Company S.A.O.G. – the national telecommunications company in Oman. 

The Pearl REIF has appointed a collection syndicate consisting of prominent banks and brokerage firms to facilitate the subscription process, including Sohar International Bank S.A.O.G., Ahli Bank S.A.O.G., National Bank of Oman S.A.O.G., Ubhar Capital S.A.O.C., Bank Muscat S.A.O.G., and United Securities LLC. 

Trowers & Hamlins advised Sohar and EFG Hermes on all matters in relation to the IPO including the prospectus, particularly in relation to the quality of the risk factors and the accuracy of statements disclosed therein in a manner that aligns with the REIF regulatory framework in Oman and international market standards. Advice on the IPO was also given in the context of terms pursuant to the existing OMR 43,800,000 Ijara financing facility made available by Meethaq Islamic Banking, Bank Muscat S.A.O.G. to the Pearl REIF, which we have also advised on earlier this year. 

Salman Ahmed, Partner and Head of the International Banking & Finance practice in Trowers & Hamlins, Oman commented:

"We are very pleased to have supported Sohar International and EFG in this landmark deal. This transaction lays the foundations for the REIF landscape in Oman for many years to come. This deal is a great reflection of our growing presence and reputation in Oman's capital markets sector and reinforces our commitment to the Omani market."

Wahbi Sulaiman Ahmed Al Riyami, General Manager (Treasury) of Omantel commented:

"We are delighted to be part of this landmark deal. The promoters of The Pearl REIF have made every effort to make the investment opportunity available to more investors, particularly attracting a wider participation from the retail segment. The pricing of the IPO of The Pearl REIF has been structured to offer investors the opportunity to invest in a well-structured instrument, with strong underlying assets and robust long-term contractual agreements.

We would like to thank Trowers & Hamlins, who acted on the IPO for the banks, for their expert legal advice and strategic guidance throughout the process and for effectively accommodating the key requirements of the numerous stakeholders involved in this complex transaction." 

The Trowers team on this transaction was led by Salman and comprised Elias Moubarak, Partner, Debopam Dutta, Senior Associate, and Phoebe Lim, Associate.