Maaden aluminium project reaches financial close

30 November 2010

Saudi and US joint venture complete $10bn financing

Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) and the US’ Alcoa will complete the financing and sign documentation for its Ras al-Zour aluminium project on 30 November, according to sources in the kingdom.

Bankers close to the deal say financial close for the $10.8bn project will occur at a signing ceremony the same day.

The financing is split between $5bn for the development of an aluminium smelter and $2.5bn for the development of an aluminium rolling mill. Banque Saudi Fransi has been appointed as documentation bank for the smelter financing, and National Commercial Bank has been appointed documentation bank for the aluminium rolling mill.

Financing is largely from Saudi banks, with only four international banks lending on the scheme. The deal is split between dollar and riyal loans. Pricing on the deal starts at 165 basis points above the Saudi interbank offered rate (Sibor) for the riyal loans, and 205 basis points above the London interbank offered rate (Libor) for the dollar loans.

The Saudi bank group consists of National Commercial Bank, Riyad Bank, Samba, Banque Saudi Fransi, Alinma, Saudi Hollandi, Al-Rajhi Bank, Sabb, Apicorp and Arab National Bank. International banks lending on the deal are Export Development Canada (EDC), the UAE’s Emirates NBD, France’s BNP Paribas and the UK’s Standard Chartered.

Riyad Bank and Standard Chartered are acting as advisers on the project.

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