Twelve sign up for ELNG

20 December 2002

A lead arranging group of 12 international banks signed commitment letters for a $550 million tranche of the proposed borrowing by Egyptian LNG (ELNG)on 13 December. Roles have also been assigned.

Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp), HSBC, Societe Generaleand Royal Bank of Scotland have been appointed joint bookrunners. Credit Lyonnaisis the technical and modelling bank. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishiis the facility agent and global co-ordinator. Royal Bank of Canadais the documentation bank and ANZ Investment Bankis in charge of insurance.

The other four lead arrangers are IntesaBci, Instituto San Paolo di Torino, WestLBand Bayerische Landesbank.

'The plan is to achieve financial close towards the end of the first quarter of next year,' says one of the lead arrangers. 'We are confident about syndication based on the underlying strength of the project and the quality of the mandated lead arrangers.'

The 12-year international tranche has a step-up pricing structure. The margin starts at 85 basis points (bp) over Libor until completion, at which point it rises to 150 bp. Further steps take it up to 235 bp (MEED 13:12:02).

Bankers are expecting commitment letters to be signed by the lead arrangers of the $150 million domestic bank tranche by the end of December.

The third tranche in the $1,150 million facility will come in the form of a $450 million finance package from the European Investment Bank (MEED 15:11:02).

Soc Gen is acting as financial adviser on the transaction.

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