Munich (pts028/12.12.2012/15:00) - FWU AG Group (FWU), a Munich-based financial services company, recently issued a US$ 55,000,000 Sukuk - the first ever Sukuk issuance by a German corporate and the largest ever Sukuk from a European Corporate. This is also the first Sukuk to utilize a computer software programme and intellectual property rights under an Ijara structure.
FWU, which primarily offers global Takaful (Islamic insurance) solutions through strategic cooperation and distribution arrangements in Europe, the Middle East and Malaysia, entered into the transaction through the Dubai branch of its subsidiary FWU Dubai Services GmbH. The ultimate financiers were GCC-based investors represented by Takaful companies that have assisted FWU in raising funding under the Ijara-based (sale and leaseback) method.
The Sukuk were issued through a Luxembourg Issuer SPV incorporated using a Dutch Stichting (foundation) structure - first used in connection with the quasi-sovereign Sukuk issuance by Saxony-Anhalt in 2005.
Dr. Manfred J. Dirrheimer, Chairman of the Executive Board of FWU said: "This is a landmark transaction for the FWU Group which we believe confirms our commitment to the growth of the global Takaful industry on two levels: first the financing will expand our global network and broaden our Takaful offering; and second in providing an investment product for Takaful companies who are often starved of such products. The fact we have achieved this through using an innovative structure and a first of its kind asset class makes the successful closing of this transaction all the more memorable. We are delighted by the confidence shown in us by investors and look forward to forging continued relationships with them and the industry as a whole."
FWU is a pioneer in developing the Takaful industry in both Europe and the Middle East and this issuance represents its first entry to the market for finance from purely Islamic sources.
Rölfs Partner acted as German financial and tax advisers to FWU and Vinson & Elkins LLP acted as legal advisers to FWU on the transaction. Loyens & Loeff provided Luxembourg law and international tax structuring advice to the Issuer SPV. Maples FS and ATC Capital Markets provided corporate services to the Issuer SPV and the Dutch Stichting. Ernst & Young provided specialist Intellectual Property advice over the underlying assets.