International law firm Trowers & Hamlins advised groups of over 30 lenders (conventional and Islamic) and hedge providers in connection with the restructuring exercise being carried out by the NAMA group of entities across the electricity distribution and supply sectors in Oman.
The reorganisation is aimed to streamline the operations in the electricity distribution and supply sector in all governorates of Oman (other than Dhofar) and to reduce the overall costs involved. The exercise is pursuant to a Royal Directive and driven by the Minister of Energy and Minerals and the Authority for Public Services Regulation. It will result in a merger and consolidation of the relevant group entities into 2 companies – one company for the purposes of supply and the other for the purposes of distribution.
NAMA group is fully owned by Oman Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund in Oman. It commenced its commercial operations on 1 May 2005, with operations spanning across procurement, generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity and water services in the Sultanate of Oman.
We advised the existing lenders (both conventional and Islamic) and the hedge providers on all matters in relation to the reorganisation exercise, particularly on various lenders and regulatory consents required, transfer of debt obligations, issues involving non-consenting lenders, the preparation of the suite of amendment and novation agreements and liaising with different stakeholders to align commercial and legal position across all facilities.
Salman Ahmed, Partner and Head of the International Banking & Capital Markets practice in Trowers & Hamlins, Oman commented:
"We congratulate NAMA, its financiers and hedge providers, many of them with whom we already have a close and long-term collaborative relationship, on successfully concluding this landmark exercise. We are pleased and honoured to have supported the parties on one of the largest restructuring deals in Oman and also in the GCC region to date. Our ability to field a cross-border team meant that the financiers and the hedge providers always had access to expert advice on issues as and when they arose, allowing NAMA to achieve its timeline. This transaction demonstrates Oman’s leadership and long-term vision in achieving operational efficiency in the energy sector ultimately benefiting the energy consumers."
This transaction drew on Trowers & Hamlins extensive local, regional and global experience. Salman Ahmed as the lead partner coordinated a multi-jurisdictional team of lawyers from the Trowers and Hamlins offices in Oman, UK, and Malaysia. The Trowers & Hamlins team on this transaction was overall supervised by Salman Ahmed (Partner) and assisted by Debopam Dutta, Nicol Ong and Jonathan Grosvenor (all senior associates), Roger Clarke (Special Counsel), Phoebe Lim, Alyson Phung, Lilli Sutherland, Jian-Jie Phang, Samer Almaz, Reem Al Mahrizi, Kasab Vora, and Nicole Stewart (all associates) and Elisha Wilson (trainee).