Mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) have been appointed on the bank tranche of the financing package for the local/US Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company II (RasGas II), with a total of about $1,600 million raised. The final amount taken will depend on the outcome of the parallel bond issue, for which subscription was launched on 25 July and is due to close in the first week of August.
Nineteen institutions joined up for the bank tranche. The pricing ended up slightly higher than that indicated in the documentation. It starts at 45 basis points (bp) over Libor for the first five years, rising to 55 bp for years five-10 and then 65 bp for years 10-15. The bond, which will be worth $1,600 million-2,700 million, has been given a prospective rating of A+ by Fitch, A by Standard & Poor'sand A1 by Moody's Investors Service. Goldman Sachsand Lehman Brothersare the lead managers, while Royal Bank of Scotland is the financial adviser on the overall funding. The package will finance the integrated RasGas III project and some elements of RasGas II. The project company is a 70:30 joint venture between Qatar Petroleumand the US' ExxonMobil Corporation(MEED 24:6:05).