South African lender Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has arranged a US$200mn working capital facility for Tanzania’s MeTL Group (MeTL).

The loan will allow MeTL to trade commodities in and out of East Africa, facilitating the manufacture of various retail-related products.

RMB is the mandated lead arranger whilst the other syndicated lenders are Citibank Tanzania, Rabobank, Nedbank and Mauritius Commercial Bank.

The facility will be broken down into two parts: one being a US$160mn facility secured against commodities and the other being a US$40mn working capital facility secured against property. The one-year renewable facility will have a drawdown period of six months.

Rabobank is a new participant amongst the syndicate of banks, whilst Citi and Nedbank have increased their holds this time around.

RMB finances a total of 12 commodities for MeTL, including edible oils, sugar and cocoa, all under one facility. The bank began financing MeTL’s business seven years ago with a US$15mn facility, and the loan has increased every time it has been renewed.

“We see MeTL averaging around 20% growth per annum,” says Ben Bechet, who works with the bank’s structured trade and commodity finance team. “The group’s in the midst of a regional expansion and we expect it will have a turnover of US$5bn by 2017.”