A&O and Linklaters pivotal to $150m Egyptian IPO

UK giants Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters have played key roles on a landmark Egyptian IPO – the first for almost half a decade.

The deal saw bathroom manufacturer Lecico make an issue of ordinary shares on the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchanges and global depository notes on the London Stock Exchange. The total value of the offering was in excess of $150m (£77.8m).

A&O London corporate partner Pervez Akhtar won the issuer role after advising on the 1997 acquisition of Lecico by a joint venture between Finnish company Sanitec and members of the Lebanese Gargour family.

Sanitec was then acquired by private equity house BC Partners, which has since sought to exit its investment.

The global depository receipts, which are priced in US dollars and held by the Bank of New York, enable the Egyptian company to access international capital markets for the first time.

Linklaters, led by partner Phil Charlton, advised HSBC as global coordinator and bookrunner, and managers Cazenove, EFG-Hermes and ING. Trowers & Hamlins’ Cairo office provided Egyptian law advice to the managers.

The deal marks a watershed for companies in emerging markets, particularly in the Middle East, which have thus far failed to emulate the success of their Central and Eastern European counterparts in accessing international capital markets.

Akhtar said: “This gives leading corporates in the region an excellent opportunity to follow Lecico’s lead.”