Emirates Steel launches financing for Taweelah plant

05 May 2010

Abu Dhabi steel producer to raise $1.5bn by middle of July

Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Steel Industries is asking banks to respond to financing requests for the long term debt for the development of its plant at Taweelah by mid-May, and is aiming to close the deal by middle of July.

The financing is split into three tranches, a $500m seven-year commercial loan, a $500m Islamic finance tranche, and a similarly sized working capital facility. The total raised is expected to be in the region of $1.3-1.5bn.

The deal is being targeted to close in July to ensure that a $700m bridge loan that matures in August can be refinanced. Sources close to the deal say only UAE Islamic banks have been invited to fund the Islamic tranche.

“It is a tough timeline to get this deal done with the bridge loan maturing in August and also Ramadan meaning that if it is not done by the end of July, it could be delayed until even later in the year,” says one banker close to the deal.

There is also a loan of $500m for General Holding Corporation (GHC), the parent of Emirates Steel, which will be backed by Italian export credit agency Sace. International banks are understood to have only been invited to participate in this deal. The GHC loan follows the parent company putting an additional $500m investment into the development of the plant.

France’s Natixis is acting as financial adviser to Emirates Steel. Banks were first contacted by the project sponsors in relation to the new financing in mid-April.

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