Matheson recently advised on the first issuance and listing of a Sukuk bond that complies with the Sharia financing provisions of Irish tax law. The Sukuk bond, issued by an Irish special purpose company, marks the first Islamic finance issuance pursuant to section 267N of the Irish Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (as amended) and raised over US$ 150 million.
In 2010, Irish tax legislation was amended to introduce the concept of ‘specified financial transactions’ into Irish law. The amendments, set out in section 267N, were intended to facilitate financial transactions structured to be Sharia compliant, thereby encouraging the use of Irish companies when structuring cross-border Islamic finance issuances.
Christian Donagh, Kevin Smith and Turlough Galvin, the Matheson partners who led the transaction, said:
“We are very pleased to have provided the Irish legal and tax structuring advice on this landmark transaction. It was a welcome opportunity to avail of the Islamic finance provisions of the tax code that are aimed at promoting this activity in Ireland. We hope that this ground breaking transaction will set the standard for future Islamic finance deals in Ireland.”