Qafco raises $1.6bn finance package

10 December 2007
Qatar Fertiliser Company (Qafco) has successfully raised a new $1.6bn finance package at margins below those of its previous debt issues, despite the credit squeeze.

Qafco's fifth debt issuance was priced at 55 basis points, rising to 65 basis points after the first five years.

The deal was 10 basis points cheaper than Qafco's fourth debt issue, which was priced at 75 basis points in 2004.

Qafco's fifth debt issue was successful despite the sponsors deciding against using an additional bond tranche to finance the project's $3.2bn total cost because of adverse market conditions.

The $1.6bn was split between two $550m term loans, and a $500m five-year revolving credit facility.

Financial adviser HSBC secured support for the deal from 14 other banks, including Arab Banking Corporation, BNP Paribas, Qatar National Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, ING Bank and Gulf International Bank.

The financing will be used for the construction of a new 3.8 million tonnes per year ammonia and a 4.3 million tonnes per year urea production facility.

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