Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) has closed the senior phase of syndication for its annual pre-export receivables-backed trade finance facility at US$1.8bn.

The facility was fully underwritten by a group of six co-ordinating initial mandated lead arrangers (MLAs), including Barclays, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Natixis, Standard Bank and SMBC, with the co-operation of Standard Chartered as co-arranger and Ghana International Bank as initial MLA.

ABN Amro, BTMU, Credit Agricole, DZ Bank, HSBC, Intesa SanPaolo, KfW IPEX-Bank, Nedbank, Qatar National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Société Générale have joined the facility as senior MLAs ahead of the launch of general syndication today (June 19).

Proceeds from the loan will be used to meet Cocobod’s financing needs for the 2015/2016 cocoa crop.

This initial amount is larger than the senior syndication signed in 2014 (US$1.6bn), as well as the final loan obtained by Cocobod last September (US$1.7bn), and sources close to the deal have told GTR they have every reason to believe that the 2015 PXF will be a successful transaction.

Sullivan & Worcester has been appointed to advise Deutsche Bank, as documentation agent, and the lenders in the deal, which is due to be completed in September 2015.