ABN Amro, BNP Paribas and Citigroup have closed general syndication of its dual tranche loan, signed in September by the lead banks, for Russia’s Rusal, one of the world’s leading international aluminium producers. The facility includes the first unsecured loan tranche from western banks to a Russian metals borrower and is the biggest loan for a Russian corporate in the metals sector underwritten during 2005.

The three coordinating mandated lead arrangers (MLA) and bookrunners were joined initially by Natexis Banques Populaires as MLA. The facility was heavily oversubscribed by almost 40% from the originally sought amount of US$500mn and reached a total of US$687.5mn.

In addition to the four banks mentioned, the following have acted as MLAs: Calyon, Commerzbank, DZ Bank, HSH Nordbank, RZB and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

KfW and ICICI are lead arrangers, while Mizuho Corporate Bank, Moscow Narodny Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank are arrangers. Bawag, Garantibank and IKB joined as lead managers, while Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz joined as manager.

ABN also acted as facility and documentation agent, while Natexis fulfilled the role of the offtaker and offtake arrangements and documentation agent.

The credit is provided in two amortising tranches for two and five years respectively. The first US$206.75mn tranche, unsecured, matures in one year with an extension option for another 12 months.

The second tranche in the amount of US$480.75mn is based on a classic pre-export finance mechanism and is to be repaid monthly following the 18-month grace period.

“The first tranche, granted for an exceptionally long term of a cumulative two years is unsecured, which is unique for a Russian metals and mining company. The arranged facility sets a new milestone for the financing of Rusal, both in terms of the pricing obtained and the security required,” says Prabhat Vira, global head of commodity finance at ABN Amro.

The additional funds raised through general syndication will be used to refinance Rusal’s debt.