Gunvor is the latest commodity trader to secure the backing of Italy’s export credit agency, Sace, for a large financing facility.  

Sace has guaranteed a €400mn, 5-year term loan to Gunvor from five banks, led by UniCredit.  

Over the past year the agency has inked similar deals with Gunvor’s rivals Mercuria, Trafigura and Vitol in a series of “strategic import transactions” under its Push Strategy, which aims to strengthen Italian suppliers’ access to international markets by targeting large foreign buyers. 

Similar guarantees have been provided by export credit agencies in other countries, such as Germany and the US, to help secure supplies of critical commodities.  

The latest deal with Gunvor is aimed at facilitating Italian purchases of liquefied natural gas.  

In return, a spokesperson for Gunvor says, the trader has committed to “attend certain Italian commercial events intended to sell Italian goods and services”. 

“In times of unprecedented complexity, the need for innovative business support mechanisms becomes crucial,” says Ciro Aquino, Sace’s regional manager for the Middle East. “We take pride in this operation, which, as part of our Push Strategy, aids Italian companies in exploring new markets while facilitating access to relevant energy supplies.” 

Gunvor’s chief financial officer Jeff Webster says: “Gunvor is pleased to support Sace’s push strategy by helping secure energy supplies to the country and having the opportunity to further grow the business with Italian customers and suppliers.”  

UniCredit is mandated lead arranger, global coordinator, bookrunner, documentation agent and facility agent for the loan. Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, DZ Bank and ING are also mandated lead arrangers. Erste Bank is a lead arranger.  

Clifford Chance provided legal counsel to Sace and UniCredit. 

“UniCredit is proud to arrange and coordinate this facility, which marks a significant step in bolstering gas security across Europe,” says Stefan Koller, the bank’s global head of asset-based financing. 

“Its role as a novel facility type for commodity traders underscores our commitment to ensuring reliable energy supplies while innovating trade finance strategies in an ever-evolving energy landscape.”