Sumitomo will be responsible chiefly for advising on the purchase of the vessels from shipyards and for negotiating joint venture ownership agreements. The mandate may also cover arrangement of the planned initial public offering (IPO) of 50 per cent of Q-Gas’ QR 4,200 million ($1,120 million) capital, due to come to market in mid-January. ‘This is an unusual, complicated and evolving mandate,’ says a banker involved in the deal. ‘As the company’s plans change, so does our job. Nor is there any timeframe put on our remit, which is due to last until all the tanker purchases have been completed.’

The other shareholders in Q-Gas are Qatar Petroleumwith 25 per cent, Qatar National Navigation & Transport Companyand Qatar Shipping Companywith 20 per cent each, the Qatar Foundation with 2 per cent, and the Healthcare Fund, the Pension Fund and Woqod with 1 per cent each.

The LNG carriers will be leased to Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company II (RasGas II) and Qatar Liquefied Gas Company II (Qatargas II) to enable them to meet long-term offtake agreements in the US and Europe (MEED 2:7:04).