NORTON Rose LLP has acted for International Innovative Technologies Limited (IIT) in the UK’s first ever Sukuk.
Dubai based Millennium Private Equity Limited are the ultimate financiers in the transaction, which has raised financing using the musharaka (joint venture) Sukuk structure forthe technology development company based in the North East of England.
Sukuk, the Shariahcompliant investment instruments, have seen steady global growth in recentyears. The first half of 2010 saw worldwide Sukuk issuance topping USD 13.7billion; nearly double the amount recorded in the first half of 2009. They provide a way for financial institutions and other entities to invest in companies without breaching the principles and rules of Shariah.
London has emerged as a key centre for Islamic finance but as yet, for various reasons, Sukuk areyet to get off the ground in the country. This deal therefore represents a notable development for the Islamic finance industry in the UK, potentially opening the door to other UK firms raising finance through Sukuk.
Farmida Bi, partnerat Norton Rose LLP, said: “I am delighted that Norton Rose has advised on the first UK Sukuk after our instruction to advise the UK Government on its proposed Sukuk.
"This is a significant step forward for Sukuk and for any UK company looking for alternative forms of investment. In other jurisdictions, we’ve acted on anumber of high profile Sukuk, but there has been no UK corporate or sovereign Sukukto date. The result has been a potentially significant source of investmentinto the UK being essentially cut off.
“However, this deal proves that Sukuk can work to great effect in the UK. The injection of funds will help fuel IIT’s ambitious growth plans as well as help it further develop new technologies and products.”
The Norton Rose LLPteam was led by London based partner Farmida Bi with support from associatesHasan Al-Ahmar and Hamed Afzal. Tax advice was supplied by partners JohnChalloner and Angela Savin. IIT also engaged Newcastle based Hay & Kilnerto advise on the relevant corporate documentation.
Millennium Private Equity Limited was advised by the Dubai office of Herbert Smith LLP, with UK based Michelmores providing support on the relevant corporate documentation.