The high-profile deal represents the first successful bank merger in Oman for eight years and the first transaction under Oman's first takeover regulation.

In a first-of-its-kind transaction, Oman Arab Bank SAOC (OAB) acquired Alizz Islamic Bank SAOG (AIB) under Oman's new Takeover and Acquisition Regulation which was issued in 2019 (Takeover Regulation) creating a bank with over US$8.4 billion in assets. Following the successful takeover, AIB was delisted from the Muscat Securities Market (MSM), OAB transferred its Al Yusr Islamic banking business to AIB, and OAB was listed on the MSM. 

OAB will continue to operate its conventional banking business and AIB, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of OAB, will operate its Islamic banking business combined with the Al Yusr Islamic banking business.

The AG team was led by Oliver Stevens and included Ma'athir Al Busaidi, Kate Searle, Eithar Al Kiyumi, Roger Byrne, Gorvinder Pannu and James Shaw.

Oliver Stevens said: "We have been advising AIB on this landmark deal for nearly two years and we are delighted to have been involved in such an important transaction for Oman's banking sector. We were able to use our experience of being one of only a few law firms in Oman to have previously advised on a successful bank merger. 

"It was fantastic to see the banks, shareholders, advisers and regulators working so closely together, during lockdown, to complete a complex merger of two of the largest banks in the Sultanate and the first ever takeover under Oman's new Takeover Regulation."