Templars has advised Ecobank Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of leading pan-African banking group Ecobank Transnational Incorporated on its US$300 million senior unsecured 5-year bond issuance.
The transaction represents the first non-sovereign Eurobond issuance from an African issuer in 2021.
The 7.125 percent fixed rate bonds which will mature in 2026 have an Issuer Rating of B- from Fitch Rating Agency and Standard & Poors, and represent the lowest ever coupon/ yield achieved by a Nigerian financial institution for a benchmark bond transaction since 2013.
The bonds which are listed on the London Stock Exchange were more than 300 percent oversubscribed, with significant interest coming from international investors.
The Templars team was led by Partner and Head of the Firm’s Finance Practice Chike Obianwu with support from Associates Nneoma Obijiaku, Ijeamaka Kawekwune, Okabonye Chukwuani and Anwuri Akolokwu.
Templars role on the transaction follows closely on the heels of its role in late 2020 as Nigerian counsel to the joint lead managers on the first benchmark Eurobond issuance from an African bank in 2020. According to Chike Obianwu, ‘We congratulate the Ecobank Nigeria team on the brilliant success of their bond issuance, a market significant transaction which has once again provided us at Templars with the opportunity to further confirm our place as a leading advisor for issuers and deal managers in the Nigerian debt capital markets. And we are particularly pleased to have once again been able to support Ecobank Nigeria on a Eurobond offering, having done the same on their debut issuance back in 2014.’
Speaking at a virtual ceremony to mark the listing of the bond on the London Stock Exchange, Ecobank Nigeria’s CEO, Patrick Akinwuntan, said: ‘The strong demand for our bond shows the international appetite for the Ecobank franchise in Nigeria, its unique positioning for facilitating pan-Africa trade and the attractive opportunity for the many investors seeking to back world-class Nigerian corporates.’