Clifford Chance wins role on first Swiss CoCo

Clifford Chance won a role alongside Carey Olsen and Swiss firm Homburger advising UBS on the issue of a $2bn (£1.25bn) low-trigger contingent convertible (CoCo) bond, the first such product to come out of Switzerland.

Clifford Chance London capital markets partner Simon Sinclair advised the Swiss bank on the Tier 2 subordinated notes due in 2022.

UBS turned to Homburger – including Zurich partner Benedikt Maurenbrecher – for Swiss advice and partner Alan Stevens at offshore firm Carey Olsen for Jersey advice on the special purpose vehicle.

As a condition of the bond, the notes will be written down permanently if UBS’s common equity Tier 1 ratio falls below 5 per cent.

The idea behind the structure was compliance with increasingly strict Swiss banking rules.

Sinclair was joined on the deal by Clifford Chance London senior associates Yara Fadayel and Yinan Zhu.

Clifford Chance has a long-track record advising UBS on its debt capital markets issues.

Sinclair said: “There’s been much focus around the viability and marketability of CoCo structures and this benchmark transaction should help to build momentum around the product.”