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10 April 2007 - With its client Merrill Lynch International, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP recently structured a first-of-its-kind subordinated Tier II capital market offering out of Africa. Merrill Lynch International was the lead book-runner on the $175 million issuance of subordinated Tier II debt by First Bank of Nigeria PLC, the country's largest bank.

In a reluctant market, the Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw attorneys were able to overcome market barriers and successfully negotiate the First Bank of Nigeria deal, putting together a strong structure that was then used successfully by First Bank of Nigeria and Merrill Lynch to win back apprehensive investors to Nigerian debt.

"This was a very high-profile deal, met with several complicated nuances in the Nigerian market," commented Chicago-based partner Jim Patti. "The success of this deal has encouraged the Nigerian economy and its investors and has solidified Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw's international and financial capabilities."

Merrill Lynch International is a strategic advisor to corporations and institutions worldwide and a leading underwriter of debt & equity securities.

The Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw team advising Merrill Lynch International included partner Jim Patti, banking and finance associate Maria (Gaby) Sakamoto and London associate Ijeoma Ekwueme-Okoli.