Mandated lead arrangers ABN AMRO and BNP Paribas have launched senior syndication on the US$1.5bn five-year pre-export deal for Russian borrower Gazmetall. It is the first time the corporate has approached the syndications market.


A bankers’ meeting was held with the MLAs on Wednesday and senior syndication is unlikely to close until the end of September at the earliest. Given that it is the corporate’s first venture into the market, the pricing is not dropping below three digits as seen elsewhere in the Russian market.


Gazmetall produces around 40% of Russia’s iron ore and owns over 75% of the shares in a major iron ore producer, Lebedinsky GOK and over 75% of OEMK, a Russian steel works.


The company’s assets are controlled by the holding firm Metalloinvest, which is 50% owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov. He is also head of GazpromInvestHolding, an investment arm of Gazprom.