Unicorn Transaction named Islamic Finance Deal Of The Year
Unicorn Investment Bank (Unicorn), the Bahrain-based financial services group, announces that its successful close of a US$450 million 5-year Sukuk on behalf of leading Saudi real estate developer Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Company (Dar Al-Arkan) has been named Islamic Finance Deal of the Year for the Middle East by pre-eminent international business magazine The Banker.
In presenting Unicorn with the award, the editors of The Banker commented that their judges used a wide range of criteria to select the winning deals, with a strong emphasis on the degree to which client objectives were met as well as the deal complexity, innovation, speed of execution and pricing performance.
Issued in February 2010, the Dar Al-Arkan Sukuk marked the first international issue out of the GCC region in 2010 and was jointly lead managed by Unicorn, Deutsche Bank Securities and Goldman Sachs International, who were also the joint bookrunners. Unicorn was also the sole Shari’ah advisor to the transaction.
As the first 144a issue by a company in Saudi Arabia, the landmark Sukuk made it possible for US investors to directly participate in a Saudi Arabia issue for the first time. It is also the first ever sub-investment grade Sukuk.
Commenting on the award, Majid Al Sayed Bader Al-Refai, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Unicorn, said: “Unicorn is pleased to have received recognition for this landmark transaction which is expected to set the benchmark for GCC corporate borrowers going forward. The fact that this Sukuk was issued in one of the most difficult weeks of 2010 which saw many other transactions both regionally and internationally either fail to close or get withdrawn for the market bears testament to investor confidence both in Dar Al-Arkan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are pleased to be associated with the issuer and our partners in the transaction, and we look forward to continuing to play an important role in the development of the Islamic capital markets.”