CC, Akin Gump scoop Lukoil bond issue as capital markets improve

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Clifford Chance have landed the key advisory roles on a $1.5bn (£940m) convertible bond issue by Lukoil amid signs of ­recovery in the spluttering capital markets.


Akin Gump acted for Russia’s largest oil producer Lukoil. The US firm fielded a team led by London-based debt finance partner Robert Aulsebrook.

Clifford Chance advised joint lead arrangers Barclays Capital, Citi and Deutsche Bank on the deal. Capital markets partner Tim Morris led for the firm, working alongside US securities partner Robert Trefny and Moscow capital markets partner Tamer Amara.

The senior unsecured ­convertible bonds are due in June 2015, when they are convertible into London-­listed US depositary receipts.

Morris told The Lawyer that the high value of the issue was a positive sign both for the market and for his firm’s own capital ­markets practice.

“The size of it’s significant,” he said. “The market was quite nervous around the end of November and beginning of December, so no one was sure how it would fly. It’s very risky for the banks if the market does turn out to be fragile.

“But it seems that market sentiment’s recovering and investors see the equity markets as attractive. A deal like this for a high-profile Russian issuer is good for the market and for our practice.”

The magic circle firm recently acted on private equity house Electra’s £100m London-listed ­subordinated convertible bond issue. Capital markets partner Simon Sinclair led the team acting for Electra.