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Multi-jurisdictional law firm Conyers Dill & Pearman advised GE Capital in the offering of its US $500 million sukuk certificates, the first of its kind to be issued by a major US company. The Islamic financing structure, known as sukuk, is believed to be the first of its type to be used to finance aircraft leasing. The transaction was finalised on Friday, November 27, 2009. It has won acclaim as “Sukuk Deal of the Year” for 2009 by Islamic Finance News, Airfinance Journal’s 2009 “Deal of the Year” Award, and was shortlisted for IFLR’s Middle East Debt and equity-linked deal 2010 Award.
Conyers lawyers David Cooke and Brian Blugerman provided advice to GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric Co., on the sukuk, which consisted of five-year dollar-denominated certificates, in association with lawyers from Allen & Overy. The sukuk certificates will be listed on the London Stock Exchange and Bursa Malaysia and GE has applied for a secondary listing on the NASDAQ Dubai Exchange.
David Cooke commented: “Over the last decade, Islamic finance has been very active in the Gulf region and Malaysia. Our Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong offices are all witnessing increasing interest from Western businesses in the Islamic market, as they look to tap new sources of investment using sukuk and other Islamic finance products. The GE Capital sukuk suggests renewed confidence in the market and follows other sukuk issuances this quarter.”
The certificates were issued through GE Capital Sukuk Ltd.