Herbert Smith Freehills has advised the underwriting banks, led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Davy acting as joint global co-ordinators, on Allied Irish Banks p.l.c.'s (AIB) €12 billion listing on the Irish Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange. This is the biggest flotation in London since 2011.
AIB is the largest retail and commercial bank in Ireland. Shares in AIB were offered to institutional investors in the UK and elsewhere, and to qualified institutional buyers in the United States. Retail investors resident or incorporated in Ireland or the UK could participate in the offer by applying for shares through participating intermediaries. The offer comprised the partial sale for €3 billion of existing shares held by the Irish Minister for Finance. Upon completion of the offer, the Minister of Finance's shareholding in AIB has decreased from 99.86% to 75% of the outstanding ordinary shares of AIB and AIB' shares have been re-listed on each of the main markets for listed securities of the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by Head of Equity Capital Markets, Charles Howarth, and Head of US Securities, Tom O'Neill, supported by a team of associates including Jessica He, Heidi Gallagher and Christopher Lapp.
Commenting on the transaction, Charles Howarth said:
"We are very pleased to have advised on this high profile IPO, advising key relationship investment banks and underlining the strength of our equity capital markets and financial institutions practices."
A& L Goodbody acted alongside Herbert Smith Freehills as Irish legal advisers to the underwriting banks. Linklaters and McCann Fitzgerald were legal advisers to the issuer, Allen & Overy and William Fry acted for the Minister for Finance, as selling shareholder and Freshfields and Arthur Cox acted for the UK and Irish sponsors. Other underwriting banks included Citigroup, Goldman Sachs International, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, UBS, Goodbody Stockbrokers and Investec.