France’s Exeltium, a consortium of industrial groups buying electricity together to secure price stability and competitiveness, has signed the €1.4bn refinancing of its senior debt.

The deal includes a €1bn 15-year floating-rate bank loan provided by BNP Paribas, CaixaBank, Deutsche Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, Natixis, and Santander as mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) and bookrunners, and BTMU, Crédit Agricole, CIC, ING and Société Générale as MLAs.

The other tranche is a €435m, 15-year institutional loan provided by nine investors (DekaBank, Edmond de Rothschild Infrastructure Debt Generation, Scor Infrastructure Loans, and investors of Natixis’ infrastructure platform such as AG Insurance and Zencap Infra Debt), and disbursed through fronting banks Deutsche Bank and Natixis.

A Natixis spokesperson tells GTR that both tranches rank pari passu, meaning all investors’ contributions are considered of equal seniority.

This is the largest power project financing signed on the French market in 2015.

Dubbed as a “virtual power plant” for its lack of physical assets, Exeltium was created in reaction to the privatisation of France’s electricity sector, which made prices more volatile. 27 large corporates from power-hungry industries (including the likes of Total, ArcelorMittal, Ahlstrom, Linde and Rio Tinto Alcan) joined forces to buy long-term supply (15 to 24 years) at a fixed price in exchange for a fee paid upfront to selected producers. Exeltium signed a supply agreement with EDF in 2008.