A&O and Bakers steer $1bn Turkish bond issue following Istanbul launches

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Baker & McKenzie have won roles advising on a major bond issue as Turkey’s biggest lender Akbank raises $1bn (£620m) through two simultaneous $500m (£310m) note issuances.

Daniel Matthews
Daniel Matthews

The bond, one with a maturity of five years and the other with a maturity of ten, is offered internationally and to US investors and also listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Bakers London capital markets partner Simon Porter advised Akbank alongside London-based capital markets partner Edward Bibko. Istanbul-based partner Daniel Matthews and capital markets senior associate Muhsin Keskin advised on Turkish law.

The issue was lead-managed by BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, HSBC, JPMorgan and Société Générale. A&O and Turkish law firm Paksoy advised the joint lead managers, with the Allen & Overy team led by London-based capital markets partner Sachin Dave and the Paksoy team led by capital markets partner Ömer Çollak.

Turkey is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies with the fastest growth – 8.5 per cent last year – of any G20 economy other than China and Argentina. Akbank is the largest company listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange with total consolidated assets of approx $81bn.

Background to this deal:

Although this is the third note issue on which Bakers has advised Akbank in the last two years, following a $750m bond issue in March 2011 and a $1bn bond issue in July 2010, this is the first chance Porter and his team have had the chance to work with the firm’s Istanbul office since it formed an exclusive relationship with Istanbul-based firm Esin Attorney Partnership in October last year (27 October 2011).

Porter commented: “Despite uncertainties in the global capital markets, this is further evidence that Turkey and particularly the Turkish banking sector is attractive to investors.”

Both Bakers and A&O are understood to be beefing up in Istanbul as capital market grows particularly busy. Turkey has become a country of significant interest to international law firms in the past couple of years with 2011 alone seeing the arrival of A&O, Bakers, Clifford Chance and Chadbourne & Parke, along with Germany’s Graf von Westphalen. Earlier this year McDermott Will & Emery formed an alliance with Istanbul firm Fora & Sanli, making its entry to focus on healthcare (4 January 2012).