9 May 2009

BDA transaction wins European Islamic Finance Deal of the Year award 2009 from the FT’s The Banker

May 9, 2009

Business Development Asia LLC (“BDA”) has received recognition for its expertise in corporate finance advice on cross-border mid-market transactions between Europe and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region in the form of the “Deal of the Year – Islamic Finance” award for Europe from The Banker, the leading international financial affairs publication of the Financial Times group.

BDA acted as exclusive buy-side advisor to Seera Investment Bank (formerly United International Bank, “Seera”), a Shari’a compliant investment bank headquartered in Bahrain, on the leveraged acquisition of UK headquartered BWA Water Additives, a leading global water treatment solution provider, in September 2008.

The award-winning secondary buyout was financed in part by a multi-tranche debt facility, structured in accordance with the Islamic Shari’a principles, and obtained exclusively from UK-based institutions, even as the credit crisis approached its peak in September 2008. The Shari’a compliance was achieved by using multiple reverse commodity murabaha transactions. Notably, the debt included a mezzanine tranche, arguably the first Shari’a compliant mezzanine financing to have been used in a cross-border leveraged acquisition in the UK. The transaction was denominated in US dollars as well as Pound Sterling, and structured to comply with regulations across seven different jurisdictions, including Bahrain and the UK. Amongst several other challenging aspects of structuring this deal in a Shari’a compliant manner was the roll-over of a portion of the incumbent management’s equity.

Shari’a compliant debt financing for the transaction was provided by Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland Equity Finance, and coordinated by BDA.

King and Spalding (UK / Dubai) served as Seera’s legal and tax adviser leading the structuring of Seera’s investment, the Shari’a compliant financing and all related Shari’a compliance matters (including liaising with Seera’s Shari’a advisory board). Stephenson Harwood (UK), served as corporate and Shari’a compliant management incentives legal counsel to Seera. Herbert Smith (UK) served as legal advisors to the lenders.

About Business Development Asia

Business Development Asia LLC was founded in 1996. BDA assists multinational corporate and financial sponsor clients to identify and execute cross-border acquisitions, divestments, JVs, restructuring and capital raising, in Asia the Middle East and internationally. The company is headquartered in New York with offices in London, Bahrain, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo. BDA employs 50 full-time professional staff across its eight offices, supplemented by a team of senior advisors around the world. BDA’s client list includes Air Products, Areva, Cadbury Schweppes, Celestica, DIC, DuPont, Ecolab, Godrej, Hanjin Shipping, Hercules, Huntsman, Inabata, Kimberly-Clark, Lear, Lubrizol, Mars, Molex, Nalco, Reuters, Rohm & Haas, Ryder, Seera, SigmaKalon, Sumitomo Chemical, Sun Chemical, TATA Auto Components, Tenneco, Tredegar, WR Grace, and the British Government. Further information on BDA is available at www.bdapartners.com.

BDA Transaction Team

Andrew Huntley, Senior Managing Director, ahuntley@bdallc.com
Tamer N. Makary, Director, tmakary@bdallc.com
Shariq Siddiqui, Senior Associate, ssiddiqui@bdallc.com

For more information regarding this transaction, please contact Andrew Huntley or Shariq Siddiqui in London at (44) 20 7655 3500, or Tamer Makary in Bahrain at +973 39 26 33 18

Also see:

BDA advises Seera (formerly UIB, Bahrain) on acquisition of BWA Water Additives

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