OSN signs debut syndicated loan

24 November 2013

OSN deal arranged and underwritten by Mashreq

The Middle East pay-TV network OSN has secured a $200m syndicated five-year financing facility to finance its regional expansion.

It is the borrower’s first syndicated loan and a banker close to the deal says it is a “positive sign” of a return in confidence in the syndication market in the Middle East.

“[It is] a clear indicator that the market is back,” he says.

UAE-based bank Mashreq was the sole mandated lead arranger of the loan and an additional five banks joined the transaction during the syndication period.

Mashreq was also the underwriter of the transaction, a decision that suggests risk appetite among banks is returning to the region.

Underwriting deals had become a rarity in recent years with banks reluctant to take on the sole risk of not being able to raise the requisite amount of money for the borrower. Since the global financial crisis, syndications were generally arranged through a more informal club basis.

The latest data from data provider Dealogic also shows an uptick in banks’ lending activity. A total of $46.2bn of syndicated loans in the Middle East was raised between 1 January and 7 November this year. It is highest volume of deals signed in the same time period over the past five years.

The five additional banks to join the syndication are:

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