Strong response on Alba deal

02 November 2002

Banks invited to bid for the $1,550 million finance package for the fifth potline at Aluminium Bahrain (Alba)have given a strong response, offering more than the company was looking for, sources close to the deal say. Lead arranging groups for the four tranches of debt finance are expected to be announced by mid-November (MEED 18:10:02).

The largest tranche, expected to amount to $700 million, is an unsecured commercial corporate finance facility. There is also a metals-linked tranche, an Islamic facility and a Bahraini Dinar-denominated bond. Project sources say Alba does not envisage resorting to export credits.

Banks understood to have expressed interest in the various elements of the deal include Gulf International Bank, Arab Banking Corporation, Mizuho Financial Group, HSBC Investment Bank, Barclays Capital, National Bank of Bahrainand Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait.

Taylor-DeJonghis Alba's financial adviser, while Norton Roseis acting as legal adviser. The fifth potline will produce 307,000 tonnes a year of aluminium. Bechtelof the US is the main contractor.

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