Shearman to advise on exchange of Iraq bonds

Shearman & Sterling‘s capital markets team is celebrating after winning the mandate to advise the banks which are arranging the exchange of commercial debt by the Iraqi government.

Citigroup and JPMorgan organised the exchange, which will see around $2.7bn (£1.5bn) in face value of bonds and $175m (£99.2m) in loans swapped for around $14bn (£7.8bn) of commercial claims. New York partner Antonia Stolper is leading the Shearman team.

The groundbreaking exchange takes place on 19 January and allows holders of commercial debt from the Saddam Hussein era to exchange it for bonds issued by the new Republic of Iraq. Debtors will receive bonds carrying a face value of $200 (£113) for every $1,000 (£567) of debt. However, bonds can only be claimed against debt that was incurred prior to 6 August 1990, which is when the UN sanctions came into force.

The bonds, each of which will pay an annual coupon of 5.8 per cent, are due to mature in 2028 and will be guaranteed by the Iraqi government.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s legendary international debt partner Lee Buchheit is advising the Republic of Iraq in all areas of its debt management.