Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the Federal Republic of Nigeria on its debut international bond issue. The US$500 million 10-year bond, which was sold to US investors under Rule 144A and outside the US in reliance on Regulation S, is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
"This is a landmark transaction for Nigeria and Africa more widely," said Stuart Matty, White & Case partner who led the transaction. "Nigeria is very much on investors' radars as one of the so-called new BRIC countries, and this successful transaction establishes an important sovereign benchmark for Nigeria. We have been active in the capital markets in Nigeria since 2006, and we expect this transaction to act as a catalyst for future growth in the Nigerian international capital markets."
Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation and has the second-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, despite the negative effects of the global financial crisis, Nigeria remains attractive to investors based on its significant oil reserves – the most in Africa – as well as its growing private sector and banking reforms.
White & Case continues to be a leader advising on capital markets transactions in Africa, having advised on a substantial number of the transactions to come to market from the region, including recently acting on transactions for the Republic of Senegal, the Republic of Gabon, Cote d'Ivoire, National Bank of Egypt and PTA Bank (the first international issue for an East African issuer) as well as representing numerous companies in Nigeria and South Africa on equity financings, including the first ever Nigerian company to list its equity on the London stock exchange.
The White & Case team was led by London partner Stuart Matty, who was assisted by partner Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes. The team also comprised associates Melissa Butler and Yinka Osoba and trainee Laetitia Souesme.
Nigeria was also advised by Nigerian firm Banwo & Ighodalo, led by partner Asue Ighodalo and associate Aseezah Muse-Sadiq.
A team at Cleary Gottlieb led by Simon Ovenden and counsel Mark Adams advised Citibank and Deutsche Bank as joint lead managers. Barclays Capital and FNB Capital acted as financial advisers to Nigeria.
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