Qatar Business – Clifford Chance advises on the establishment of a Shari’a compliant fund and debt raising for UDC

LawFuel – Legal Newswire – Clifford Chance have advised on the establishment of a Shari’a compliant real estate development fund and debt raising for United Development Company in Qatar, for the Qanat Quartier development on The Pearl, Qatar. The firm acted for the Sponsor in establishing the US$300 million fund, and the legal structuring of the debt raising, using a US$300 million revolving musharaka. The equity financing signed on 31 January, the debt financing on 04 February with closing expected on 19 February.

The debt financing was led by Robin Abraham, finance partner based in Dubai, and Qudeer Latif, Head of Islamic Finance based in Dubai. They were assisted by Amar Meher and Susi Crawford. The fund transaction team was led by Nigel Hatfield, corporate partner in London, and assisted by Charlotte Douglass, Nadia Milligan and Sinead McMenamin in Dubai. Qudeer Latif also advised in relation to Shari’a compliance of the Fund, and Qatari law aspects of the transaction were co-ordinated by Greg Englefield.

Robin Abraham commented: “We value our relationship with UDC and are delighted to be involved in this pioneering transaction for them on The Pearl, which saw innovation across both the debt and equity funding arrangements.”

Greg Englefield, who manages Qatari transactional work for the Firm’s Dubai office, comments: “There were several issues relating to property rights and security issues over The Pearl that required detailed analysis to provide practical solutions for both the sponsors and financiers.

Morgan Stanley advised on the financial structuring of the transaction and acted as placing agent for the fund. The Commercial Bank of Qatar is the fund manager and Qatar Islamic Bank is the investment agent for the musharaka financing.. Simmons and Simmons acted for the participating banks, assisted by Arab Law Bureau in Doha providing Qatari law advice. Maples & Calder acted as Cayman counsel.

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