Lead arrangers line up for Ajman debt package

27 September 2002

The sponsors of the Ajman wastewater project are in advanced discussions with a group of four lead arrangers for the estimated $80 million loan package. The loan, to be arranged as a club deal, is expected to reach financial close by mid November. The US' Black & Veatch International and the UK's Thames Waterare the sponsors for the project, which will be the Gulf's first integrated wastewater scheme to be implemented on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis (MEED 10:5:02, Power & Water).

The prospective lead arranging group, made up of Hypovereinsbank, Bayerischelandesbank, United Arab Bankand Mashreqbank, is expected to be confirmed by the end of September. The loan will have a tenor of 14 years.

Total project costs are estimated at $140 million, of which about $25 million will be covered by equity, $80 million by the loan, and the balance by advance payments of connection fees. Mizuho Groupis acting as financial adviser to the client; the legal adviser is Denton Wilde Sapte.

At present, Black & Veatch and Thames Water each hold 50 per cent of the equity in the project company, Ajman Sewerage (Private)Company. Just prior to financial close, the shareholding will be restructured. The new shareholding make-up will be Thames Water with 60 per cent, Black & Veatch with 10 per cent, the government of Ajman with 20 per cent and Belgium's Besixwith 10 per cent.

Ajman Sewerage will build, operate and manage for a period of 25 years a network comprising a new wastewater treatment plant, over 15 pumping stations and 200 kilometres of pipeline to connect to more than 40,000 properties.

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