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White & Case Advises on First Ever Additional Tier 1 Bond Issuance by a Nigerian Bank

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the Joint Bookrunners on the issuance of US$500 million Perpetual Fixed Rate Resettable NC 5.25 Additional Tier 1 Subordinated Notes and US$500 million 6.125% Senior Notes by Access Bank, one of the largest banks in Nigeria.

"We have supported Access Bank on this genuinely ground-breaking deal for the bank and the wider banking industry in Nigeria," said White & Case partner Stuart Matty, who co-led the Firm's deal team. "The combination of our market-leading regulatory capital expertise and our unique understanding of the Nigerian banking market meant that we were able to help steer this innovative transaction to a successful close while the new capital regulations in Nigeria were only just being implemented."

The transaction is the first ever Additional Tier 1 bond issuance from Nigeria. It required an in-depth analysis of the Regulatory Capital Regulations ahead of the Basel III implementation in Nigeria by the regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria. The issuance structure involved a drawdown under Access Bank's US$ 1.5 billion Global Medium Term Note Programme, which was updated in September 2021. Senior bonds were successfully issued by Access Bank on 21 September 2021 followed by the AT1 issuance. The AT1 bonds feature non-viability loss absorption at the discretion of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Citi, J.P. Morgan, Masreqbank and Renaissance acted as joint bookrunners, with Chapel Hill and Coronation Merchant Bank acting as financial advisers and joint bookrunners.

The White & Case team in London that advised on the transaction was led by partners Stuart Matty and Melissa Butler, with support from associates Neha Saran, Hashim Eltumi, Hana Mori and Nikita Thakrar. Templars and Banwo & Ighodalo (B&I) acted as Nigerian counsel to the Joint Bookrunners, led by partners Chike Obianwu (Templars) and Ayotunde Owoigbe (B&I).

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