Dentons and Cobalt have advised Latvia's airBaltic airline on its July 23, 2019 placement of 200 million euro issue 6.75 percent 5-year bonds — the largest corporate bond issuance ever originating from Latvia. Linklaters advised J.P. Morgan as global coordinator and it andSEB as joint bookrunners.
The bonds will be listed on Euronext Dublin stock exchange.
According to airBaltic, "the transaction was well received by the international and local investor community resulting in a final allocation to more than 100 investors from 25 countries and the demand for the securities exceeded supply."
“This is a historic milestone for our airline," said airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss. "Not only have we issued the largest bond of any company in the history of Latvia, [but] airBaltic also became the first airline in Central and Eastern Europe to access the international debt capital markets with a Eurobond offering. Investors have clearly shown that they see airBaltic's strategy as mature and strong. We will continue to execute the growth strategy outlined in our Destination 2025 business plan and we will significantly strengthen our liquidity with the issue of the bonds and continue investments into our fleet.”
Paulius Žurauskas, Head of Debt Capital Markets at SEB Baltics, claimed that the transaction "highlights solid support and recognition of airBaltic credit story from both regional and international investors. Baltic and Nordic investor community exhibited solid demand and this transaction paves way for future development Debt Capital markets in our region.”
The airline — a joint stock company established in 1995 and which claims to be "the most punctual airline in Europe" — has over 80 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and the CIS. Its primary shareholder is the Latvian state, which holds 80% of the stock, with Lars Thuesen holding around 20% through his fully-owned Aircraft Leasing 1 SIA.
The Cobalt team advising airBaltic in Latvia was led by Specialist Counsel Edgars Lodzins and Partners Sandija Novicka and Gatis Flinters, with the assistance of Associate Krisjanis Buss.
The Dentons team advising airBaltic on English law was led by Dentons' London-based Capital Markets Partner Nick Hayday and included Senior Associate Nicholas Yao and Trainees Gemma Dreelan and Imogen Dean. Support was also provided by London-based Capital Markets Partner David Cohen.
Editor's Note: After this article was published Sorainen announced that it worked alongside Linklaters in advising joint lead managers J.P. Morgan and SEB on the bond issue. The firm's team was led by Partner Rudolfs Eņgelis and included Senior Associate Inese Heinacka and Associate Līva Aleksejeva. Partner Janis Taukacs, Senior Associate Aija Lasmane, and Associate Mārtiņš Rudzitis provided tax assistance.