A $1.5 billion nine-year loan for Dubai’s Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) is being marketed to banks after receiving commitments from seven lenders to fully back the financing, three sources aware of the matter said on Thursday.
The syndication phase was launched on Wednesday and will allow additional lenders to join in the facility, which ENOC said in January it would raise for general business purposes and which sources told Reuters in February was being backed by seven local and international banks.
Those lenders — Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, Mashreq, Noor Bank and Standard Chartered — have fully underwritten the deal, sharing the commitments equally, the sources said.
This means ENOC will secure the cash regardless of what happens during the marketing period, but having other lenders involved allows underwriting banks to reduce their exposures so they can deploy cash into other transactions.
ENOC is a downstream-focused firm owned by sovereign fund Investment Corporation of Dubai, operates service stations, fuel terminals and oil tankers and has a presence in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
A spokesperson for ENOC was not immediately available for comment.
The sources said ENOC will pay 235 basis points over the London interbank offered rate (Libor) for the loan, which will have an amortising structure – meaning the borrower repays parts of the loan throughout the duration, as opposed to just servicing the interest payments.
Banks wishing to join the deal can commit funds in either dollars or dirhams, with the facility structured so that conventional and Islamic lenders can participate.
The company announced a change in chief executive last month, with new appointment Saif Humaid al-Falasi saying the firm was targeting investment in new geographic markets.
ENOC hired a five-person team to work on mergers and acquisitions for the company as it seeks to expand beyond its home emirate, sources told Reuters in February.-Reuters