Akin Gump Advises Banglalink on Inaugural $300 Million Bangladesh Bond

(London) – Akin Gump has advised Banglalink Digital Communications Limited, a subsidiary of VimpelCom Ltd., on an innovative $300 million Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield bond offering “first.” Banglalink issued $300 million Senior Notes due 2019, listed on the Singapore Exchange.

This groundbreaking transaction represents the first international bond offering from Bangladesh—there has never been a Bangladesh sovereign bond or corporate bond issue on the international capital markets before.

Banglalink, which is the second-largest mobile network operator in Bangladesh, provides mobile telecoms services to corporate and consumer customers across the country. The company plans to use the proceeds to repay existing debt and finance capital expenditures.

Akin Gump London corporate partners Lisa Hearn and Fred Heller advised Banglalink, supported by a team in London, New York and Dallas. 

In December 2014, the Banglalink bond offering won the category “Frontier Markets Issue” at the prestigious IFR [International Financing Review] Asia Awards. The awards recognize “the most impressive deals and the institutions that have best delivered on their chosen strategy across Asia’s financing markets over the past 12 months.” 

IFR Asia noted that the “far from straightforward” bond “proved that the region’s leading companies can access international capital in their own rights, and do not necessarily have to wait for the sovereign to go first” and wrote that “the success of the deal for the issuer and investors alike has opened the international bond market for other names from Bangladesh to follow—not to mention corporate issuers in other emerging markets without a sovereign benchmark.”

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.