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AZB, Amarchand mine FCCB-to-convertible-bond trend again with Tata Steel

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Amarchand Mangaldas and AZB & Partners capital markets teams have sewn up Tata Steel's $493m (Rs 2,550 crore) convertible bond swap, marking the third joint instruction for the firms on similar deals in the past half-year.

AZB Mumbai partner Shameek Chaudhuri led the team that advised the banks Standard Chartered Bank, ABN AMRO Bank and Citigroup on the Tata Steel deal.

AZB senior associate Varoon Chandra and associate Vinay Kurien assisted Chaudhury.

Tata Steel sold almost $550m of new convertible bonds and used the proceeds to repay some investors' Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs) that partly funded the Corus Group acquisition in 2007.

Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai managing partner Cyril Shroff and capital markets partner Yash Ashar advised the Tata companies.

Linklaters Singapore partner Kevin Wong led the international legal advice for Tata Steel, which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Tata Steel was one of three recent FCCB for convertible bond swaps that AZB advised on, the first having been the $94m Suzlon convertible issue in July followed by the $98m Subex issue at the beginning of November.

Amarchand was also each company's domestic adviser on each of these issues.

"I think we are going to see more of them because the FCCBs need to be restructured," said a lawyer practising in the area.

Four companies have gone that route in the last six months in a bid to ease the pressure on repaying expiring bonds and achieving low rates in the process, according to business daily Business Standard.

The teams from AZB and Amarchand also closed Tata Power's conventional $300m (Rs 1,397 crore) FCCB issue in the last week.

In July, Amarchand, Talwar Thakore Associates, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy advised Tata Steel in its mammoth $500m London global depository receipt (GDR) issue.

[Correction: we had erroneously stated that AZB was advising the Tata companies and Amarchand the banks. It was in fact Amarchand that was advising the companies and AZB that was advising the banks. We regret the error.]

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