Sait Eryılmaz heads the finance practice of our Istanbul office. He is specialised in banking and finance transactions, with a particular focus on project finance, syndicated lending, restructurings and structured finance.
Sait has held a key position at the forefront of Turkish infrastructure and energy transactions in the last decade, taking part in many notable projects including PPPs and other large-scale cross-border transactions. He regularly represents banks, ECAs, Islamic and conventional financial institutions, sovereigns, corporates and private equity firms in a wide array of international project finance transactions, including in PPPs, infrastructure, transportation (roads, ports, railways and airports) energy, oil and gas, utilities and privatisations in Turkey and the wider EMEA region.
Sait has extensive banking and finance experience with a particular focus on syndicated lending, project finance, acquisition finance, corporate finance, restructuring, Islamic finance, securitisations and structured finance. Sait also frequently acts for issuers and underwriters in both debt and equity offerings including Eurobond, sukuk, covered bond, green bond and regulatory bank capital offerings in and outside Turkey.
Sait has also worked in the Firm's London office, and he is consecutively ranked as a leading lawyer in Turkey by Chambers and Partners, Legal 500 and IFLR 1000.
- the joint venture of airport operators TAV Havalimanları Holding A.Ş. (TAV Airports) and Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide (Fraport AG) on a EUR 1.225 billion bridge financing regarding the renewal of operational rights for Antalya Airport in Turkey
- Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered Bank and other lenders in the UK's largest sustainable civil infrastructure export financing, provided to the Republic of Turkey in connection with the Ankara-İzmir High-Speed Electric Railway Project
- Citibank, Dubai Islamic Bank, HSBC and Kuwait Finance House as joint lead managers in connection with the Rule 144A/Reg S offering by the Republic of Turkey of US$3 billion Sukuk (lease certificates) due 2027 at 7.25 per cent
- the mandated lead arrangers in relation to the $1.2 billion term loan refinancing for We Soda Limited, the largest natural soda ash producer in the world
- Gama Energy in relation to the restructuring process for Icanadolu Gas-Fired Power Plant (ICAN), the worthy winner of the IJGlobal Power Restructure Deal of the Year for Europe, and its biggest investment totalling 1.1GW installed power, with a total of 12 domestic and international financial institutions involved.
- The lenders including Ziraat Bankası, Akbank, Türkiye İş Bankası, and Yapı Kredi, with a total loan amount of approximately EUR770 million, in respect of the financing of the design, construction, operation, maintenance and repair of the Aydın-Denizli Motorway Project procured by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure General Directorate of Highways under the build-operate-transfer model, one of the first greenfield motorway PPP projects and of the biggest infrastructure financings of 2021.
- The finance parties including international financial institutions and Islamic financiers, in relation to the refinancing of the Kınalı-Odayeri and Kurtköy-Akyazı Sections of the Northern Marmara Motorway Project (including Third Bosphorus Bridge) procured by the General Directorate of Highways of Turkey under the build-operate-transfer model
- Turkey Sovereign Wealth Fund in its debut international borrowing (EUR 1 billion syndicated loan)
- The lenders in respect of the financing of the design, construction, operation, maintenance and repair of Ankara- Niğde Motorway procured by the General Directorate of Highways of Turkey under the build-operate-transfer model
- The lenders on the financing of the largest acquisition of hydroelectric power plants in Turkey; the privatisation of Menzelet and Kılavuzlu
- HSBC in connection with the financing of Elazıg integrated health campus using the first ever greenfield project bond structure in the Turkish PPP market "Turkish Deal of the Year", PFI Awards 2016, "European PPP Deal of the Year" Award 2016, Infrastructure Journal
- The finance parties in connection with the Bursa Integrated Health Campus PPP Project
- Akbank T. A.Ş., T. Garanti Bankası A.Ş., T. İş Bankası A.Ş. and TSKB on the USD815 million facility provided to be used for the refinancing of the loans under the existing power plants and the financing of Kızıldere III Geothermal Project of Zorlu Doğal Elektrik Üretimi A.Ş.
- Limak Yatırım Enerji Üretim İşletme Hizmetleri ve İnşaat A.Ş. and InfraKan Holding S.à.r.l. as sponsors and Hamitabat Elektrik Üretim ve Ticaret A.Ş. as borrower in connection with an ECA backed EUR395 million project financing of the Hamitabat combined cycle gas turbine power plant project, total electricity generation capacity of which will be 1,500 MW
- Goldman Sachs International in connection with the US$ 300 million financing under a credit link term loan through a participation structure for purchasing 30% of the shares of Petlim Limancılık A.Ş., an affiliate of SOCAR Turkey
- ICBC, CEXIM and Deutsche Bank in connection with the approx US$ 1.1 billion financing of Kazan soda ash-cogeneration plant (with 450MW Natural Gas Fired Cogeneration Plant) in Turkey (export credit financing)
- The mandated lead arrangers in connection with the financing of the development, construction and operation of 625 MW coal-fired power plant in Iskenderun
- CIMB Investment Bank Berhad, Citigroup Global Markets Limited and HSBC as joint lead managers on the third international US$1 billion lease certificates (sukuk) issuance by the Republic of Turkey
- Citi and HSBC on the standalone issuance by Türkiye Finans Katılım Bankası of US$500 million lease certificates (sukuk)
- Citigroup, HSBC, NCB Capital, Noor Islamic Bank, QInvest and Sharjah Islamic Bank as managers on the debut issuance by Türkiye Finans Katılım Bankası US$500 million lease certificates (sukuk)
- Koç Holding on its debut US$750 million Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of eurobonds
- The joint lead managers and co-lead managers on the second international US$1.25 billion lease certificates (sukuk issuance) by the Republic of Turkey
- Citigroup, HSBC and Kuwait Finance House as joint lead managers on the debut US$1.5 billion lease certificates (sukuk) issuance by the Republic of Turkey
- Türkiye Petrol Rafinerileri on its Rule 144A/Regulation S debut issue of US$700 million eurobond
News and client work
Career and qualifications
- Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Law 2009
- Admitted as a lawyer in Turkey (Istanbul Bar Association) 2011
- Joined Clifford Chance Istanbul 2011
- Clifford Chance LLP, UK 2017
- Partner since May 2022
Awards and citations
- Sait is ranked as a “next generation partner”
Legal 500 2022, Banking, Finance and Capital Markets and Project Finance/Projects - EMEA
- Sait is ranked as “up and coming”
Chambers and Partners 2022, Banking & Finance - Europe
- Sait is ranked as "highly regarded”
IFLR1000 2021, Banking, Finance and Project Finance
- "Sait understands the needs of his clients and makes sure that you will always receive a very good service"
Chambers and Partners 2022, Banking & Finance - Europe
- "He is a real problem solver, offering best possible solutions in deadlock cases."
"Sait is outstanding at all times, professional, client focused, prompt… and always open for calls and meetings"
Legal500 2022, Banking, Finance and Capital Markets - EMEA
- Sait is ranked as a “next generation lawyer”
Legal500 2019 and 2020, Banking, Finance and Capital Markets
- Sait has been rated as a “rising star”
IFLR1000 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, Financial & Corporate