Sual, one of the world’s top 10 aluminium producers, has secured a US$400mn loan through a syndicate of international lenders led by BNP Paribas, HVB, ING, Natexis, SG CIB, and WestLB as mandated arrangers with Commerzbank and Standard Bank London as lead arrangers. ING is acting as the bookrunner, facility and security agent and Russian passport bank. The funds will be used to refinance Sual’s existing debt, as well as provide for working capital needs and core business investments.
The secured loan facility, with a margin of 2.5% over Libor, was signed recently. It has a three-year tenor with amortisation following a 12-month repayment grace period. This is the largest loan secured by Sual in its history. Chris Norval, president of Sual Holding, states that: “The scale and terms of this loan set a new benchmark for debt finance in the Russian metals industry, demonstrating the international capital market’s view of the quality of Sual’s strategy, management and prospects.”
Iosif Bakaleynik, senior vice-president for finance and CFO of Sual Holding, adds that: “The loan enables Sual to refinance its debt at significantly lower interest levels and repositions the company for future participation in the global capital markets. We now enjoy a cost of debt capital more in line with our competitors in emerging markets, and have strengthened our relationships with mainstream lenders to the industry.”
ING is acting as bookrunner for this transaction and says that the loan, originally planned at US$300mn, was very well supported at the mandated arranger stage with six major international banks joining together to form an underwriting group, and two further banks joining the facility prior to general syndication. As a result, the facility was increased to US$400mn at the underwriting stage.
General syndication will follow soon.
Sual is Russia’s largest bauxite and alumina producer and second largest primary aluminium producer.