The project company Utilities Development Company (UDC)– a consortium in which the local Mohamed Abdulmohsin Kharafi & Sonsholds a 75 per cent stake and the US’ Ionics holds 25 per cent – is taking the 25-year borrowing from a lead-arranging group comprising National Bank of Kuwait, Bank of Kuwait & the Middle East and The Gulf Bank (MEED 24:8:01). The facility has been priced at 200 basis points over the Kuwait interbank offered rate (Kibor).
The facility has established a number of significant landmarks for the regional project finance industry. With a tenor of 25 years, it is the longest-term project finance deal ever provided in the Gulf. It is also the first full-scale, properly structured transaction denominated in one of the GCC’s local currencies. In addition, it is providing finance for what is the first build-operate-transfer project in Kuwait and the first private sector wastewater project in the region (MEED 21:6:02).
ABN AMRO acted as financial adviser to UDC.