Linklaters advises Ahli United Bank on its acquisition by Kuwait Finance House

Linklaters advised Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank (AUB) on its acquisition by Kuwait Finance House (KFH) for approximately US$11.6bn. The deal is the first ever cross-border public takeover involving a share issuance and amounts to one of the largest takeovers in the Gulf Cooperation Council.


AUB is a leading Bahraini incorporated and publicly listed bank in Bahrain and Kuwait, providing a wide range of banking services including retail and corporate banking, and operates regionally in the wider Gulf and North Africa region as well as in the United Kingdom. Kuwaiti incorporated and publicly listed, KFH is a highly regarded bank pioneering in Islamic finance. Upon completion, the transaction will result in the combined bank becoming the leading banking institution in Kuwait and Bahrain, as well as one of the world's largest Islamic bank by total assets of US$118bn.


The deal marks one of the region's most sophisticated cross-border public takeovers including a share swap, squeeze-out mechanics in relation to minority shareholders and the post-completion conversion of AUB from a conventional bank to a sharia compliant bank.


The Linklaters team was led by Middle East Managing Partner Scott Campbell and corporate partner Waleed Rasromani, with support from managing associate Julianna Halbeck.


Linklaters’ Middle East Managing Partner Scott Campbell, commented:


“We are grateful for the trust and confidence AUB placed in us on this significant cross-border public takeover. This landmark transaction not only demonstrates Linklaters’ strength on complex corporate and Islamic finance transactions in the Middle East, but also our commitment to helping our clients with pioneering advice. Our team looks forward to continuing to support AUB on other strategic opportunities.”