Latham advises on largest IPO in Middle East

Ollie Gordon

NTERNATIONAL law firm Latham & Watkins announced yesterday it had advised Saudi Arabia’s largest bank, The National Commercial Bank, on its 22.5bn rand (£3.8bn) initial public offering (IPO).

The largest ever in the Middle East, the IPO was for 25 per cent of NCB’s shares at an offer price of 45 rand per share.

The 500m share sold were held by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), and were divided into 300m shares allocated for subscription by Saudi individuals and 200m shares by the Public Pension Agency. PIF retained a 44.9 per cent stake in the bank after its listing on the Tadawul, which took place yesterday.

The Latham & Watkins team was led by partners Harj Rai and Andrew Tarbuck with support from partners Salman Al-Sudairi, Craig Nethercott, Sami Al-Louzi and Scott Ballenger.

In separate news, Latham & Watkins has raided competitor US law firm O’Melveny & Myers for six of its partners. The recruits included high-profile, London-based partner Libby Savill. The other hires are Robert Haymer, Kenneth Deutsch, Nancy Bruington, Christopher Brearton and Joseph Calabrese.