Ecobank Capital has arranged a US$500mn pre-export finance (PXF) for Orion Oil.

The financing will be split into a US$342mn tranche and a Central African franc-denominated tranche, valued at US$158mn, and will fund Orion Oil’s prepayment of crude oil shipments from the Republic of Congo’s national oil company, SNPC, over 24 months.

Ecobank Capital acted as the mandated lead arranger, with UBA stepping up as the co-arranger and Afreximbank, BGFI, Banque Atlantique, Ecobank and UBA acting as participating lenders.

Afreximbank and BGFI provided US$120mn each, with the remainder supplied by the other lenders, GTR understands.

This transaction is the largest loan syndication completed to date in Central Africa solely funded by regional African banks and for an indigenous company, according to Ecobank. This showcases the increasing interest of regional African banks in financing capital-intensive oil and gas deals.

Georges Wega, managing director of UBA Cameroon, also highlights this increasing interest, saying: “UBA Group’s strong participation in this landmark deal underscores our passion to support African businesses and develop the economies of the continent. We look forward to doing more with more African businesses.”