Banks are understood to have responded strongly to the preliminary information memorandum (PIM) on the commercial debt for the Qalhat LNG project. A tight schedule sees mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) appointed by the end of November with documentation completed in early December, first drawdown by the middle of the month and syndication launched in early 2005. Citigroup is acting as financial adviser (MEED 22:10:04).
The project company is looking for a 15.5-year, $648 million facility, to finance the construction of a third liquefied natural gas (LNG) train at Sur. About 20 banks are understood to have received the PIM, including those that lead arranged the Oman LNGrefinancing in 2002 and a handful of others. However, a comparatively small MLA group of six-eight banks is expected to be formed. Banks were asked to offer underwritten and final hold options. Sources close to the deal say that it could be very tightly priced, possibly with a narrower margin than the Qatar Liquefied Gas Company IIdeal, which was priced at 95-125 basis points. The third train is almost complete and has strong shareholders (MEED 17:9:04).
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