Latham & Watkins and Baker & McKenzie’s association firms in Saudi Arabia have won key roles advising on the IPO of the country’s largest lender, the National Commercial Bank (NCB).
The $6bn (£3.7bn) flotation is the largest-ever listing in the Arab world, and potentially the second largest globally in 2014 following Alibaba’s $25bn IPO in September. It breaks the record of Dubai’s DP World IPO which raised $5bn in 2007.
Established in 1953, NCB was the first Saudi Arabian bank, and is currently the largest bank in Saudi Arabia by assets.
Latham’s Saudi association firm Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi advised the issuer on the listing. The team was led by finance partner Harj Rai and corporate partner Andrew Tarbuck, with assistance from Riyadh managing partner Salman Al-Sudairi and London-based Craig Nethercott on finance aspects. Washington DC-based Scott Ballenger advised on litigation, while Sami Al-Louzi who works in Dubai and Riyadh assisted on corporate matters.
Meanwhile, Baker’s association firm Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners advised the financial advisors and lead managers, GIB Capital and HSBC Saudi Arabia, on the IPO. Riyadh-based partner Karim Nassar led for the firm, with support from counsel Robert Eastwood.
According to the prospectus, NCB is due to pay out $6.7m in total to all of its advisers. The sum is relatively small compared to the $261m in fees paid out to the underwriters on Alibaba’s record-breaking IPO last month. On that listing, the legal advisers took a share of $15.8m of the total sum (23 September 2014).