Russian potash producer Uralkali has sealed a pre-export finance (PXF) package of US$1bn.

The mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) and bookrunners are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Natixis, Société Générale, Rosbank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and UniCredit. Also joining the syndicate are Nordea, RBS, Deutsche Bank, ICBC, ING, Mizuho, Raiffeisen and Intesa Sanpaolo.

The facility originally secured commitments worth US$1.4bn but Uralkali scaled back due to the strength of its own liquidity position. It is priced at Libor plus 215bps, with a five-year tenor. The loan will refinance existing loans and also be used for general corporate purposes.

The company regularly taps the trade finance markets. Last year, Uralkali signed a five-year PXF to the tune of US$205mn led by French and Asian banks. The pricing on the current facility is more favourable, perhaps reflecting the strength of its balance sheet.

CFO Viktor Belyakov says: “The new self-arranged credit facility demonstrates strong commitment from leading international banks to provide financing support to the company. Uralkali is continuing to develop relationship with top-tier banks and its active presence on the international loan market. The funds raised will enable us to decrease our financing costs and to increase the average tenor of our loan portfolio.”