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Clifford Chance advises on the Emirates Airlines US$913 million sukuk, marking a world’s first for utilising UKEF-backed sukuk for aircraft financing.

2 April 2015

Clifford Chance advises on the Emirates Airlines US$913 million sukuk, marking a world’s first for utilising UKEF-backed sukuk for aircraft financing.

International law firm Clifford Chance advised the Joint Structuring Agents, the Joint Lead Managers and the Delegate on the issuance of this ground-breaking sukuk, in the principal amount of US$913,026,000 with a tenor of 10 years, which marks the world’s first sukuk financing supported by ECGD and the largest ever capital markets offering in the aviation space with an Export Credit Agency guarantee. The transaction also represents the first time that a sukuk has been used to pre-fund the acquisition of aircraft.

The sukuk due 2025 was issued by Khadrawy Limited and with the benefit of a guarantee by Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State acting by the Export Credits Guarantee Department of the UK Government (currently operating as UK Export Finance) (ECGD or UKEF). The proceeds from the issuance of the sukuk will be used to fund the acquisition of four Airbus A380-800 aircraft, which are expected to be delivered in April, May, June and July 2015. The aircraft will be leased to and operated by Emirates Airlines.

The sukuk is admitted to listing and trading on the regulated market of the London Stock Exchange and on NASDAQ Dubai.

The international Clifford Chance team advising on this one of a kind sukuk consisted of lawyers from the Dubai, London and US offices. The team advising the Joint Structuring Agents and Joint Lead Managers included partners Qudeer Latif, John Connolly, William Glaister and Chris Davies. They were supported by Shauaib Mirza, Rhona Byrne, Xuan Jin, Alekhya Prakesh and Edseli Obetoch from Dubai, Claudia Kim from London and  Avrohom Gelber and Eric Naftel from the US. Claudio Medeossi and Katherine Hensby from London advised the Delegate.