Gide scoops its first English law deal from Akbank

Gide Loyrette Nouel has seen its investment in English law capability pay off with a role on the largest securitisation deal in Turkey, issued by Akbank.

Gide won the mandate thanks in part to one of its partner’s earlier work in setting up Akbank’s securitisation programme while at a previous law firm. Partner Margaret Boswell from Gide’s London office advised arranger WestLB on the securitisation programme for Akbank’s special purpose vehicle ARTS while at Brown & Wood (now Sidley Austin Brown & Wood) in 1999.

Boswell said: “Akbank appointed Gide for this landmark issue due in part to my familiarity with the programme, but principally because of Gide being able to advise on both English and Turkish law from our office in Istanbul.” Gide set up its London office in 2003.

Akbank issued $1bn (£570m) in three tranches, increasing the issue from an original target of $600m (£341.5m). US investors bought 60 per cent of the issue, with European investors accounting for the remaining 40 per cent. WestLB served as sole bookrunner and was advised by White & Case New York partner Laurence Pettit.

The majority of the $1bn was wrapped by four insurers: MBIA Insurance Corporation, Ambac Assurance Corporation, XL Capital Assurance and CIFG Europe. Wrapped notes have insurance policies issued on them, which provide an extra level of security for investors and give the notes a higher credit rating.

Boswell said: “The higher rating decreases margins and reduces the cost of borrowing for Akbank, but this also has to be balanced against the cost of having the bond wrapped.”

As well as being Turkey’s largest securitisation deal, it is also the largest wrapped bond by a Turkish borrower.