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Global law firm Clyde & Co and StormHarbour Securities LLP, a global investment banking boutique, announced that they acted as sole legal advisors and financial advisors respectively for a debt buyout of Stanford Marine Group’s AED 1.13 billion (USD 308 million) facility by SHUAA Capital, resulting in a successful outcome for all parties involved, including the participating banks.
SMG is one of the most prominent and diversified offshore services companies in the Middle East, with a focus on chartering, building and repairing offshore support vessels for the oil and gas industry. SMG owns and operates a fleet of more than 35 Offshore Supply Vessels (PSVs, Anchor Handlers & Crew Boats).
Since 2019, SHUAA Capital has been working with SMG’s syndicate of banks, Clyde & Co and StormHarbour to conclude a transaction that achieved all parties’ objectives, through the raising of both equity and debt from both local and international investors.
The restructuring strengthens SMG's liquidity position. Following the debt buyout, SMG’s platform is poised for future growth, while aiming to take advantage of consolidating opportunities in the offshore sector. The restructuring transaction has also helped save more than 1,800 jobs, and annual UAE exports of close to USD 20 million from the shipbuilding sector.
Ian Chung, Corporate Finance Partner at Clyde & Co, commented: "While quite complex, this restructuring transaction will certainly be key to support SMG's development and could lead to further opportunities for the trade and transportation sector, not only in the UAE but across the Middle East region."
George Giannakis, Head of Real Assets Group at StormHarbour, commented: “This is a landmark transaction for all the parties involved, since it marked the first successful restructuring transaction in the offshore space in which the borrower managed to retain its entire fleet, strengthen its balance sheet, while providing a fair and full-exit solution to its outgoing lenders.”
Ajit Joshi, Head of Public & Private Markets at SHUAA Capital, said: “This was our second successful transaction with StormHarbour and we are pleased to have worked with them on the SMG debt buyout and restructuring transaction. StormHarbour brought a wealth of shipping industry expertise, global network for capital raise and successful execution track record to this transaction.”
The Clyde & Co team was led by Ian Chung (Partner, Corporate Finance), with the support of Abdelhak El Kinany (Senior Associate – Banking & Finance), Chaya Gupta (Associate – Banking & Finance) and Emma Fidler (Associate – Trade and Transportation).
Clyde & Co has the largest presence and is one of most experienced international law firms in the Middle East with over 40 partners and 300 staff, based full time in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE, Doha in Qatar, and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. The firm supports international investors and local organisations throughout the wider region with a full-service offering of local specialists across most business sectors and areas of law, including commercial, corporate, dispute resolution, employment, intellectual property, international arbitration, finance & banking, insurance, projects & construction, real estate, regulatory & investigations, and technology.