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Sidley Austin continues work for Bank of Cyprus with FTSE listing

Sidley Austin‘s London office is advising as the Bank of Cyprus prepares to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

A team led by Sidley co-head of corporate Stephen Blackshaw is advising the bank with tax partner Will Smith and regulatory partner Rachpal Thind. Cypriot counsel is local firm Chryssafinis & Polyviou with managing partner Polyvios Polyviou advising the bank.

HSBC is the sole financial adviser to the bank on the planned float. Linklaters is advising HSBC with a team led by capital markets partner Jason Manketo and corporate partner John Lane.

The bank will use an Irish holding company in order to join the FTSE index. It will remain listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange as well as the LSE, but remove its listing from the Athens bourse.

The bank is the largest in Cyprus, employing more than 4,000 staff and controlling around €13bn of the Mediterranean island’s deposit market.

The Bank of Cyprus has gone through a period of recovery since the Cypriot financial crisis in 2012-13, while chief executive John Hourican has long held the goal of listing the bank on the LSE since he took over after its 2013 bailout. The bank was saved from collapse by an international rescue package in 2013 and went through a subsequent recapitalisation by HSBC and Credit Suisse.

Sidley has a long relationship advising the bank since its rescue. City-based finance partner Matthew Cahill led Sidley’s efforts on the bank’s recapitalisation in 2014 alongside capital markets partner Stephen Roith. However, Cahill has since left the firm and has been charged in relation to tax fraud. Roith also left in 2015 to join London boutique Raines & Co.

On the recapitalisation, Linklaters advised HSBC and Credit Suisse, with corporate partner Nick Garland and capital markets partner Jason Manketo leading. Cypriot firm Chryssafinis & Polyviou acted as local counsel.

It has been a difficult year for London listings as automotive company TI Fluid Systems, software giant Misys and fitness firm PureGym have abandoned plans to float in recent months.

For more on the Cypriot economic recovery, see ‘Cyprus: picking up the pieces’