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US Firm Takes Lead Role on Historic Saudi Aramco $12B Bond Deal

Saudi Aramco logo. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Saudi Aramco logo. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

U.S. firm White & Case is advising Saudi oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco on its debut $12 billion international bond offering, due to close early next week.

Fellow U.S. firm Latham & Watkins and magic circle firm Allen & Overy have also picked up advisory roles for the dealers and trustees.

A total of 12 White & Case lawyers are working with Aramco on the deal, led by partners in the firm’s New York, London and Dubai offices, and the firm’s associated office in Riyadh.

New York corporate partner Gary Kashar, London capital markets partner Stuart Matty, Dubai-based capital markets partner Sami Al-Louzi, and New York energy partner Ivan Paskal - who is on secondment to White & Case associate firm AlSalloum and AlToaimi in Riyadh – are the partners leading.

Latham & Watkins is advising all six dealing banks involved: JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Saudi Arabian bank NCB.

Latham’s London, Washington D.C. and Dubai offices are all listed as legal advisers, according to the bond prospectus, which adds the firm will provide U.S. and English law advice.

Saudi firm The Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi provided advice to the dealers as to Saudi Arabian law.

Allen & Overy is also taking a role by advising the English law trustee, Citibank. London-based finance partner Morgan Krone is leading for A&O alongside Dubai-based lead counsel Chris Angus.

The Saudi energy company was widely reported as the world’s most profitable company last week. Aramco reported a net income of $111.1 billion for the year ending 31 December 2018 in a prospectus released on April 1 as part of the bond issuance.

The offering is expected to close next Tuesday (April 16) according to a statement by Saudi Aramco. The bonds will trade on the London Stock Exchange’s Regulated Market.

White & Case was involved in informal talks with Aramco as it assessed its options for a potential $2.5 trillion IPO, in 2016.

The U.S. firm has had a presence in Saudi Arabia since 1989, and has been advising clients there since the 1950s. The firm formed an association with AlSalloum and AlToaimi in 2016, after a five-year association with Waleed Al-Nuwaiser came to an end.