Arnold & Porter Represents Republic of Turkey in its First Islamic Bond Offering
New York and London, September 26, 2012 -- The Republic of Turkey has closed its first-ever Islamic finance offering. The New York and London offices of Arnold & Porter LLP acted as Turkey's international legal counsel, in association with Somay Hukuk Burosu, the Republic's Turkish counsel. The issue, consisting of lease certificates due in 2018, raised US$1.5 billion for the Republic.
In order to comply with Shariah law, the sukuk, as issues that are compliant with Islamic law are called, is based on Turkish government real estate assets that are transferred to the issuer and leased back to the government.
Steven G. Tepper, the Arnold & Porter partner who led the effort on behalf of Turkey and who has represented the country in financial offerings for almost 20 years, said, "Arnold & Porter is proud to help Turkey, a long-time client, gain access to new financial markets. This offering will help the country broaden its base of investors to include those who are restricted to investments that comply with the principles of Islamic finance."
In addition to Mr. Tepper, the Arnold & Porter team included Marian Saxena in New York and Jeremy Willcocks and Benjamin Kieft in London.
The Turkish offering is the second noteworthy deal Arnold & Porter and Mr. Tepper have handled recently. Earlier this month, the firm represented the Central Bank of Tunisia on behalf of the Republic of Tunisia in a USAID-backed offering that raised $500 million. Earlier this year, another Arnold & Porter team, led by partners Whitney Debevoise and Jeremy Willcocks, represented the Republic of Kenya in the negotiation of a US$600 million syndicated loan, its first general obligation financing in the private markets in some 30 years.
Arnold & Porter has a long and distinguished history of advising international governments in financial transactions and related issues and undertakings. It has been active in representing the ministries of finance and central banks of many sovereign governments since well before the original debt crisis of the 1980s. It has been involved in numerous financial transactions on behalf of sovereigns throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia. Among its sovereign clients are Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Hungary, Israel, Pakistan, Panama and Venezuela. The firm has also represented and advised a number of the world's most prominent multilateral financial institutions, including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, OPIC, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Bank for International Settlements, in significant financial transactions and other novel legal assignments.
Arnold & Porter LLP is an international law firm of more than 800 lawyers with offices in New York, London, Washington, Brussels, Denver, Los Angeles, Northern Virginia, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The firm, founded in 1946, maintains more than 26 practice areas spanning a broad spectrum of the law, with a primary focus on litigation, transactional matters, and regulatory issues.