Ghana’s Cocoas Board (Cocobod) has signed its annual pre-export finance facility at US$1.8bn.

The deal, priced higher than last year at 62.5 bps over Libor, was oversubscribed by 44%, with banks offering up to US$2.6bn.

It was signed in Paris last week, and will allow Cocobod to purchase cocoa for the 2015/ 2016 season.

It was arranged by Barclays, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank (also documentation agent), Natixis, Standard Bank and SMBC as co-ordinating initial mandated lead arrangers (MLAs), with the co-operation of Ghana International Bank as initial MLA and Standard Chartered as co-arranger.

ABN Amro, BTMU, Crédit Agricole, DZ Bank, HSBC, Intesa SanPaolo, KfW IPEX-Bank, Nedbank, Qatar National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Société Générale then joined the facility before the launch of general syndication last June.

Law firm Sullivan & Worcester advised Deutsche Bank and the syndicate of lenders.

Geoffrey Wynne, head of the trade and export finance group at the firm, says: “This financing remains the pre-eminent Sub-Saharan receivables-backed soft commodity financing. It allows Cocobod to meet its financing needs for the annual cocoa crop, while at the same time providing security of payment to Ghanaian cocoa farmers.  This year the facility again proved enormously popular.”