Dolphin bridge signed

23 July 2004
Abu Dhabi-based Dolphin Energyon 21 July signed a bridge financing agreement worth $1, 360 million with a club of 16 local, regional and international banks. The robust interest in the deal is illustrated by its size. Dolphin originally went out to banks asking for about $600 million but a flurry of offers saw the facility dramatically upsized.

The five-year facility has a step-up pricing structure starting at 45 basis points (bp) over Libor. The average margin is about 50 bp.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bankwas the documentation agent, Barclays Capitalwas co-documentation agent, National Bank of Abu Dhabi was facility agent and HSBCand First Gulf Bankacted as security trustees. The expectation is that a refinancing will take place well before the bridge loan reaches maturity, and the facility has a step-up structure.

DEL's attention is now expected to turn to arranging an Islamic bridge and to negotiating permanent financing with the Japan Bank for International Co-operation, underpinned by a Japanese offtake agreement for a substantial portion of the 60,000-70,000 barrels a day of condensates and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) that will be produced by Dolphin's gas processing facilities at Ras Laffan.

The loan is guaranteed by DEL's shareholders, Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company, which owns 51 per cent, and France's Total and the US' Occidental Petroleum, which each own 24.5 per cent (MEED 2:7:04).

www.meed.com/bankingfinance

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