Dentons helps joint lead managers with Omantel’s first sukuk

Dentons has acted as Oman counsel to the joint lead managers, on the debut issuance of US$500 million Trust Certificates due 2031 by Omantel Sukuk Limited, a special purpose vehicle issuer incorporated in the Cayman Islands. The transaction, which settled on 24 January 2024, represents the inaugural international sukuk issuance by Omantel (as trustee), Oman’s leading telecommunications company. Omantel’s obligations were guaranteed by Oztel Holdings SPC Limited, a DIFC-incorporated entity.

The trust certificates were assigned a rating of BB+ by Fitch Ratings Ltd and a rating of Ba2 by Moody’s Investors Service España, S.A. The transaction is listed on Euronext Dublin and the trust certificates were offered to sophisticated investors outside the US in reliance upon Rule 144A and Regulation S under the US Securities Act of 1933. The proceeds of the issuance will be used to settle existing financings and for general corporate purposes.

Ghassan Al Hashar Chief Financial Officer of Omantel commented “We are proud of a very successful issuance of Sukuk to our international investors. The Sukuk was significantly oversubscribed and Omantel managed to obtain a very good pricing.  We thank all of our partners and in particular, Dentons who acted as advisors for the Joint Lead Managers”.

Dentons partner Sadaf Buchanan said: “We are delighted to assist the joint lead managers and Omantel in this successful debut sukuk issuance. This was a landmark deal for Omantel, Oman and the region. The deal used broadband data services as the Sharia-compliant asset, which is a regional and international first for telecom issuers. We provided Oman law support for the regulatory and other aspects of the deal, acting for the joint lead managers. The deal was very popular, attracting over 130 investors and achieving a 5.375% profit rate. The deal sets a strong benchmark and we hope to help other issuers in the market”.

The team was led by partner Sadaf Buchanan, working with associate Shireen Al Busaidi and senior legal consultant and telecoms specialist, Simon Topping.