Swiss-based energy company MET Group has closed new short-term revolving credit facilities, bringing in €950mn from 16 lenders.
The oversubscribed transaction, which was upsized from a previous facility extended in the early months of 2019, consists of a €632.5mn secured and a €317.5mn unsecured revolving credit facility (RCF) and comes with a 364-day tenor and evergreen extension options. The funds will go towards working capital and general corporate purposes.
The integrated energy company, which has activities in natural gas, power and oil across Europe, now has access to a total of €1,024mn in syndicated short and medium-term credit facilities, mainly from European banks.
Speaking about the deal, the company’s treasurer Marc Pfefferli says: “For the fifth consecutive time, we have successfully demonstrated the ability to upsize our transaction despite a challenging environment,” adding “as a next step we plan to execute a transaction in the Asian syndicated loan market to further diversify our funding base.”
MET declined to discuss the reasons for the challenging environment, but CEO Benjamin Lakatos has spoken about the hurdles the sector faces in the past: Revenues have been falling in traditional segments of the industry, and firms are unsure which renewables to bet on going forward.
MET’s RCF comes in the wake of Singapore-based Keppel Group’s acquisition of a 20% stake in the European firm for a €53mn investment this month, with the pair also striking a strategic partnership. In a statement, MET says: “With increasing competition in European energy markets, companies need to scale up their activities in order to remain competitive.”
The group adds: “The first step in this process was the 2018 management buy-out. The partnership with Keppel Infrastructure is the next step to exploring joint energy infrastructure investment projects in Europe.”
The latest RCF transaction saw ING act as the facility and security agent. Lenders included: ABN Amro, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Erste, GarantiBank International, Gazprombank, GPB International, ING, JP Morgan, Natixis, OTP Bank, UniCredit, Rabobank, Société Générale and Zuercher Kantonalbank. Lenders’ counsel was Mayer Brown.