Pakistani Corporate Issuer Hits the Market in High Yield First
Issue May Signal Increased Market Interest in International Debt Offerings by Pakistani Companies
November 14, 2006 ... White & Case acted for Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited ("PMCL") in its debut high yield issue of $250 million 8.625% Senior Notes due 2013. The issue is the first Rule 144A/Regulation S high yield bond offering to date by a Pakistani corporate issuer, as well as being the first international corporate bond issue by a Pakistani corporate issuer since 1994. The proceeds of the issue will be used by PMCL to refinance its recent bridge facility as well as to fund ongoing capital expenditure. ABN AMRO Inc. and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. were Joint Bookrunners and Joint Lead Managers, with CI Capital Holding acting as Co-Lead Manager.
"To complete the first high yield issue in such a challenging market is an exciting development. There were a number of regulatory challenges to overcome, such as approval of the national securities regulator, tax authorities and the State Bank of Pakistan, in order to bring the offering to market," commented Rob Mathews, lead White & Case partner advising on the deal. "The regulatory approvals process was quite complicated due to the fact that international bond offerings by corporate issuers have not been attempted in Pakistan since the early 1990s, since which time Pakistan has undergone significant governmental change."
The White & Case team advising PMCL on the issue was led by high yield partner Rob Mathews in London, assisted by senior associate Anne Marie Salan, associates Geraldine Pellerin and Adrian Lawrence and trainee Teresa Hettich, working closely with project finance partner Chris Utting and associate Natalya Parkhomenko, who advised PMCL on its $100 million bridge facility with ABN AMRO N.V. and Deutsche Bank AG.
"Telecom finance has been a growth area for us, not only in Western Europe, but also in a number of challenging emerging market jurisdictions. This deal is an excellent example of our telecoms finance, emerging markets and high yield capabilities converging," remarked partner Chris Utting. "The mobile telecoms sector in Pakistan has grown rapidly within the last few years, and our client needed alternatives to bank financing arrangements. The PMCL high yield issue exemplifies the expanded range of products which we are able to offer our corporate clients needing finance in such emerging market jurisdictions."
Headquartered in Islamabad, PMCL is a leading mobile telecommunications provider in Pakistan operating under the brand name "Mobilink." As of June 30, 2006, it had over 17 million subscribers in Pakistan, generating net total revenues of $669 million for the year ended December 31, 2005. PMCL is a majority owned subsidiary of Egyptian-based telecoms provider Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E., which also has mobile telecommunications businesses in Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. About White & Case
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