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Markus Blenntoft

Partner
+971.4.427.2732
Fax +971.4.447.5225

Mr. Blenntoft has more than 15 years' experience as a banking and finance lawyer and has advised on the full spectrum of financing transactions, including acquisition, project, shipping, aviation, trade and commodity, syndicated and bilateral finance.

Mr. Blenntoft has a particular focus on Islamic finance (including murabaha, sukuk and shari'ah-compliant structuring) and debt capital markets (including programmes, stand alones and ISDA documentation).

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Blenntoft was a partner at a global law firm based in Singapore where he was involved in the establishment of the firm's India practice.

Mr. Blenntoft spent the earlier part of his career working as an associate for an international law firm in both the UAE and the United Kingdom, as well as in house at an investment advisory firm in South America.

Achievements

Mr. Blenntoft has been ranked in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014 as a leading Islamic finance lawyer.

Banking and Finance

  • Advising the Asian Development Bank on a US$125 million financing for an Indian conglomerate in the steel industry.
  • Advising Axis Bank Limited on a US$190 million financing for an Indian company.
  • Advising the Bank of Baroda on a US$60 million financing for an Indian conglomerate in the steel industry.
  • Advising Deutsche Bank AG on a US$25 million pre-export advance payment facility between a Belgium buyer and an Indian seller.
  • Advising Essar Steel India Limited on a US$400 million term loan facility from Standard Chartered Bank. The loan was part of a full group refinancing.
  • Advising the Export-Import Bank of India on a US$19 million financing secured by a Panama-flagged vessel and bonds issued by an Indian shipping company.
  • Advising the ICICI Bank on: 
    • a US$800 million syndicated term loan facility granted to Lanco Resources International Pte. Ltd. and Lanco Resources Australia Pty Ltd (a unit of Lanco Infratech Limited), to finance the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Griffin Coal Mining Company Pty Ltd and Carpenter Mine Management Pty Ltd by Lanco Infratech Limited. This was reportedly the largest investment by an Indian enterprise in Australia.
    • a US$19 million corporate jet sale and leasing finance for an Indian company.
    • a US$110 million syndicated acquisition financing for an Indian company.
    • the restructuring of the bank’s loan portfolio with Stemcor (in restructuring).
    • the US$400 million restructuring of five facilities in relation to the replacement of the security trustee.
  • Advising IDBI Bank on a US$160 million financing for an Indian conglomerate in the steel industry.
  • Advising Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited on a legal survey in relation to selling financial products.
  • Advising Standard Chartered Bank on a:
    • US$200 million syndicated term loan facility for Export-Import Bank of India
    • US$50 million (Japanese yen equivalent) syndicated term loan facility to Yes Bank Ltd.
  • Advising the State Bank of India (SBI) on a dispute and protection of SBI's rights in various jurisdictions.
  • Advising on the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd and the State Bank of India on a US$465 million loan facility with a green shoe option to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.
  • Advising Yes Bank Limited on a facility to, and security package over, a Chinese conglomerate.

Islamic Finance

  • Advising EuroFin Asia Group Pte Limited on a murabaha structured trade product, which is understood to be the first of its kind in Singapore.
  • Advising HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Singapore) Limited on:
    • the first ever sukuk based REIT in Singapore
    • a SGD256 million, first ever shari'ah-compliant real estate investment trust (REIT) in Singapore.
  • Regularly advising Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) in relation to secured master commodity murabaha in relation to commercial property acquisitions.
  • Advising Warba Bank on shari'ah structuring and resulting murabaha transactions.
  • Advising Morgan Stanley on National Central Cooling Company's first ever mandatory exchangeable sukuk valued at AED1.7 billion. The trust certificates were mandatorily exchangeable within three years of issue.
  • Advising a syndicate on Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the first UAE dirham denominated sukuk and the largest non equity-linked sukuk, valued at AED7.5 billion.

Debt Capital Markets

  • Advising Carlyle Group on a high yield hybrid Reg S and 144A offering.
  • Advising National Central Cooling Company on a US$200 million sukuk which involved the integration of both istisna'a and ijara contracts. This was the first corporate rated bond in the UAE.
  • Advising OCBC Bank on a stand-alone bond issue for an Indonesian mining company.
  • Advising HBOS Group on the United Kingdom's first covered bond programme. Due to there being no UK covered bond legislation, the issued bonds were guaranteed by an HBOS special purpose vehicle (SPV) and secured against the assets (residential mortgages) of the SPV. The bonds were a hybrid between bonds and residential mortgage backed securities in that they were issued and serviced by the HBOS Group without relying on the SPV’s cash flows.