Taylor-DeJongh wins Alba advisory

21 June 2002

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba)has appointed Taylor-DeJonghas the financial adviser for its proposed fifth potline and associated works. The project, which will raise Alba's capacity to about 775,000 tonnes a year, is expected to require about $1,600 million of non-equity finance. Partnering Taylor-DeJongh on the advisory mandate is Bahrain-based Islamic Finance Consultants (IFC): a tranche of Islamically structured finance is widely anticipated.

The request for proposals sent out to a dozen or so companies in late March requested details of candidates' track records of arranging export-credit-backed facilities, and it is anticipated that a sizeable proportion of the financing package will come with export credit cover (MEED 5:4:02).

'It has not been entirely a surprise that Taylor-DeJongh has won this mandate,' says one of the other shortlisted bidders for the mandate. 'It has been widely accepted that they did good work on the first-phase advisory and that there were elements within the Bahraini decision-making process that favoured keeping them on for this second phase. It is just a shame that the process has been so protracted.'

In addition to Taylor-DeJongh and IFC, the shortlisted bids for the mandate came from ANZ Investment Bank, Arab Banking Corporationwith Ernst & Young, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Gulf International Bankwith PricewaterhouseCoopers, and HSBC Investment Bank (MEED 7:6:02). It is understood that the final round of selection became a run-off between BNP Paribas and the Taylor-DeJongh-led bid.

Taylor-DeJongh and IFC will provide comprehensive capital raising advice to Alba, 'including the development of the optimal capital structure and financing plan, advice on hedging strategies, development of an information memorandum, and solicitation and evaluation of financing from various capital sources, including commercial banks, export credit agencies, Islamic financial institutions and capital markets'.

With further delays experienced, and more expected, on the financing package for Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), there is an outside possibility that the long-assumed scheduling of Bahrain's major borrowers could be altered and the Alba financing could be brought to market before Bapco (MEED 15:3:02).

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