Links, Slaughters and RB advise on first immunisation bond

Linklaters has led a team of law firms and financial advisers from around the world on the creation of an innovative new bond which will help immunise 500m children in the world’s poorest countries.

London-based securitisation partner Jim Rice was in charge of an international team from Linklaters advising the GAVI Fund (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) on the structure and form of the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm).

The bond was launched yesterday (7 November) by Gordon Brown MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and celebrities including Bob Geldof and Bono.

Linklaters was brought on board when the bond was first mooted in 2004, working together with the World Bank’s in-house chief finance counsel Cliff Frazier.

More recently Slaughter and May’s Richard Hall and Marc Hutchinson were instructed by the IFFIm company, which was established to run the bond.

Richards Butler’s Philip Alford and David Boucher acted for the GAVI Fund’s affiliate company, while Allen & Overy partner Matthew Hartley represented underwriters Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

Denton Wilde Sapte partners James Curtis and Farmida Bi and assistant Sergey Likhosherstov worked alongside in-house counsel from the Treasury and Tim Yapp of the Crown Agents who was advising the Department for International Development.

Under the terms of the IFFIm, financial commitments from countries and institutions such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provide collateral against which money can be borrowed from investors. The first bond issue yesterday raised $1bn (£524m) and in total $4bn (£2.1bn) is expected to be raised.

The money will be used by the GAVI Fund to immunise vulnerable children against diseases like polio, measles and diphtheria.