Gazprom Neft has secured a US$1bn syndicated loan.

The loan is unsecured and comes in two tranches. The first is for US$700mn and has a five-year tenor from the drawdown date. The second tranche is a revolving credit facility (RCF) of US$300mn and has a bullet repayment facility, three years from the first drawdown.

The first tranche is priced at Libor plus 1.75%, while the RCF’s pricing is spread between Libor plus 1.2% and 1.5% depending on its utilisation.

There are nine mandated lead arrangers, each of which contributed an equal amount to the loan. They are: BNP Paribas, Commerzbank (co-ordinator), Crédit Agricole, Den Norske, HSBC, Mizuho, RBI Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and UniCredit.

An originator within one of the MLAs tells GTR that the pricing for the deal was “tight”, as was the deadline, but for a lender of such quality, it’s not a huge challenge to syndicate.

Both the Russian loan and bond markets have been active for the past 12 months, with even second-tier corporates borrowing heavily. Last week, Gazprom Neft also issued a €759mn bond, while Lukoil – another Russian oil and gas company – issued one for €3bn.

As GTR reported last week, the fact that many Russian companies have already been to market thus far in 2013 may result in a tight pipeline for the remainder of the year.

Commenting on this transaction, Gazprom Neft’s deputy CEO says: “The structure of the facility’s agreement combining both term and revolving loan facilities is unique for the Russian market and provides the company with additional flexibility to manage its liquidity more efficiently. Double oversubscription reached in the course of the execution demonstrates investment attractiveness of the company and positive perception of the innovative structure in the market. The facilities agreement represents an important step in the company’s debt optimization and diversification programme”.