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Trowers & Hamlins advises on BHD 20 million bond issue

Trowers & Hamlins advises on BHD 20 million bond issue

Trowers & Hamlins has advised existing client Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) on the issue of an unsecured, privately placed BHD 20 million (approximately US$53 million) bond by the largest consumer finance company in Bahrain, Bahrain Commercial Facilities Company B.S.C. (BCFC).

Some of the proceeds of the bond issue will be used to refinance an existing loan which matured on 30 December 2013, with the balance to be utilised for general business expansion. The bond was fully underwritten by AUB, which was advised by Trowers & Hamlins as international legal counsel to the lead arranger and underwriter.

The bond is particularly significant as it is the first securities issuance under the Offering of Securities Module (Module OFS), the Central Bank of Bahrain's new rules on the offering of securities in Bahrain, which officially came into force on 1 January 2014.

Salman Ahmed, Banking and Finance partner who led the Trowers' team, commented, "This deal was especially pleasing as it was delivered within a particularly challenging timeframe and in compliance with a new and very comprehensive regulatory and disclosure framework in the OFS Module. BCFC is a fantastic obligor and, with their track record of successful bond issuances, combined with AUB's market experience and knowledgeable team, this deal closed extremely smoothly. We are fortunate to have a regulator like the Central Bank of Bahrain. Both the Retail Banking Supervision Directorate and the Capital Markets Directorate worked with us, responding and providing guidance at short notice."

In addition to Salman Ahmed, the Trowers & Hamlins team comprised Banking and Finance partner Jeremy Ingham, Banking and Finance associate Niall McMorrow, Corporate associate Brian Kelleher and trainee solicitor William White.