Banks are due to submit bids by 18 November to join an expanded mandated lead arranger (MLA) group on the $1,500 million debt package for the Sohar aluminium smelter. Citigroupis acting as financial adviser on the deal (MEED 4:11:05).The invitation follows the early November appointment of three core MLAs – Citigroup, ABN Amroand Sumitomo-Mitsui Banking Corporation. Banks joining the deal are required to take an underwriting commitment of $175 million, with a target hold of $115.6 million on the main facility, paying fees of 75 basis points (bp) over Libor, and $9.4 million on the letter of credit, paying 70 bp. Among those understood to have been approached are BNP Paribas, Calyon, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered Bank. The facility has a tenor of 15 years, with a 30 per cent balloon mechanism. Financial close is due by the end of November. Sohar Aluminium Companyis a joint venture of Oman Oil Company, Canada’s Alcanand Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA – see Industry).