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Home > News & insights
St Helier, Jersey, 23 May 2018 – Jersey-based firms VG and Ward Yates acted in partnership with the Dubai office of Dentons to advise Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa (VMMEA) on the issuance of a US$30 million pre-IPO exchangeable senior secured Sukuk, which was privately placed. The company plans to use the proceeds to fund growth and expansion.
Ward Yates advised as Jersey and BVI counsel, while VG acted as corporate services provider to the special purpose vehicle (SPV) issuer.
Dubai-based VMMEA, a mobile virtual network operator, has been in the region since 2007. The company has two consumer brands, Virgin Mobile and FRiENDi Mobile, and operates in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Oman and Malaysia.
Arqaam Capital acted as the lead arranger and book runner, while BNY Mellon acted as the Delegate and Minhaj Advisory acted as the Shariah Advisor.
The proceeds of the Sukuk were utilised to purchase airtime vouchers and the structure includes novel redemption features and an option for investors to exchange the Sukuk for shares in VMMEA in the event of an initial public offering. Credit enhancement included a financial covenant package and certain security in favour of the investors.
Trevor Norman, Director of VG’s Islamic Finance team comments on the transaction, “We are seeing increasing interest in corporate Sukuk structures, with Jersey being an attractive jurisdiction for transactions of this kind. We have many years of experience of acting as the glue in the middle of such deals, working with advisors and clients across many regions to help make them happen, and this transaction is a really exciting development.”
Nick Ward, Partner at Ward Yates said, “This was a significant and exciting transaction for our firm to be involved with and we were delighted that Jersey was selected as the jurisdiction of choice for the Sukuk issuer. The deal further demonstrates Ward Yates’ expertise in working with leading advisors on novel transactions with high profile clients.”
Dentons Debt Capital Markets partner Alex Roussos said, "We are delighted to have worked with VMMEA and Arqaam on this landmark transaction. It's a fairly novel instrument for our region, as we've had only a handful of Pre-IPO Sukuks. It's the first one using an airtime structure and also involved putting in place security in favour of investors in various jurisdictions."
About Ward Yates
Ward Yates is a Jersey-based law firm which specialises in finance, corporate and non-contentious trust law. The firm was founded by Nick Ward and Victoria Yates. www.wardyates.com
Dentons is the world's largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognized by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Labs and the Nextlaw Global Referral Network. Dentons' polycentric approach and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests in the communities in which we live and work. www.dentons.com
+44 (0)1534 500418
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