The Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) has mandated Calyon Corporate & Investment Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and SG Corporate & Investment Banking, to arrange and syndicate a US$500mn receivables backed pre-export finance facility – an annual event for the African corporate.

Calyon, RBS and SG CIB will act as mandated lead arrangers. SG CIB will be facility agent. RBS and SG CIB will act as bookrunners and Calyon as documentation agent, with information memorandum preparation by RBS.

The facility will be used to finance the purchase of cocoa beans for the 2005-06 season secured by the assignment of cocoa export contracts signed with OECD buyers. The new financing follows a 12-year successful track record for Cocobod raising over US$4.5bn including this latest commitment.

Cocobod is the public entity in charge of the country’s cocoa industry and its exports. Ghana is the world’s second largest producer and exporter of cocoa.

Last year’s deal saw an initial amount of US$500mn increased to US$650mn with mandated arrangers Barclays, Natexis Banques Populaires, RBS and Standard Chartered. The margin stood at 50bp over Libor, down from the previous year’s 52.5bp, when US$320mn was raised.