A new six-bank consortium has won the Ghana National Cocoa Board’s (Cocobod’s) annual pre-export finance (PXF) facility, which stands at US$1.6bn this year.

The deal, confirmed to GTR by a DZ Bank official, is US$400mn larger than the deal transacted last year, which was arranged by First Rand Merchant Bank, Nedbank, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Crédit Agricole and Société Générale.

This year’s arrangement sees a new mix of lenders collaborating and includes DZ Bank and Ghana International Bank (as bookrunners) and Barclays, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, KfW Bank and Natixis as co-ordinating initial mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners.). The bookrunners have been joined in senior syndication by BTMU, Nedbank, Rabobank, Société Générale, Standard Bank and SMBC as senior mandated lead arrangers ahead of the launch of general syndication, with a bank meeting scheduled for June 27, 2014 in London.

The proceeds of the facility will be utilised to assist Cocobod in meeting its financing needs for the 2014/15 cocoa crop. The facility will pay a margin of 0.6% p.a. over Libor.

The facility, which will be structured similarly to previous Cocobod annual trade facilities, is an 11-month US$1.6bn pre-export receivables-based trade finance facility, the proceeds of which will be used to finance the purchase of the main cocoa crop for the 2014/15 season commencing in October 2014. The facility will also include a provision for re-drawing from April 2015 to May 2015 for the light crop.

The Cocobod PXF has been internationally syndicated since 1994. Ghana is the second largest cocoa exporter in the world and produces an average of 800,000 tonnes of cocoa a year.