Fibre optic cable operator Seaborn has secured US$260m in structured export finance for a new subsea cabling system connecting Brazil and the US.
The deal was arranged by French bank Natixis, which acted as sole structuring bank, underwriter and mandated lead arranger. Coface, the French export credit agency (ECA), provided a guarantee for the finance, with equity coming from Partners Group.
The French government’s involvement can be traced to the contract secured by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, the Boulogne-Billancourt headquartered telecoms specialist. Alcate-Lucent commenced construction of the Seabras-1 system in September 2014.
The system will provide point-to-point bandwidth connectivity between New York and Sao Paulo – the two primary financial hubs of their respective nations and is likely to be operational within two years.
CEO of Seaborn Larry Schwartz described the financing as an “important project milestone”, adding; “Seabras-1 has certainly benefited from the breadth and depth of experience that each of the Natixis teams has brought to this pioneering set of transactions.”
Natixis’ head of infrastructure and projects for the Americas Olivier Delay added: “We are delighted to work with Seaborn and Partners Group in the development of Seabras-1, which will be a key project aimed at improving communications between North and South America.”