Santander closed a €188.91mn financing for the supply of off-road vehicles, and ambulances to Morocco in April 2007, setting a new benchmark for export-credit agency (ECA)-backed financings in the country.
The transaction was backed by the Spanish ECA Cesce, and it is the largest Cesce-supported export finance deal to be signed by a Spanish bank in Morocco.
Following a public bidding, two Spanish off-road vehicle producers won the contracts to supply vehicles to the Kingdom of Morocco.
The main Spanish producers of the transaction were a company based in Galicia, called Urovesa, for the supply of off-road vehicles and ambulances, together with the Spanish subsidiary of the Fiat group Iveco, for the supply of trucks.
Both companies relied on a firm called Eimtrade for the negotiation of their respective commercial contracts with the authorities of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The Moroccan authorities requested the lenders to finance 100% of the commercial contract. Through securing Cesce cover for the majority of the financing, Santander became comfortable with raising 100% of the financing and working with a long tenor of over 10 years.
Moroccan banks Attijariwafa and Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur International (BMCE) also collaborated on the negotiations.
The Kingdom of Morocco presents a strategic interest for Banco Santander, with Spain being Morocco’s second largest trading partner.
Banco Santander has also become one of the main shareholders of the country’s biggest private bank, Attijariwafa Bank.
“This deal, which has been the most relevant ECA deal of recent years in this country, has enabled Banco Santander to strengthen its ties and relationship with the authorities of the Kingdom of Morocco,” remarks Antonio Sala, director, export finance EMEA, at Santander.
“The experience of Banco Santander in officially backed export credits in general and with Cesce in particular, has been key in the decision-making process of the representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco for awarding the mandate of the transaction.”
He adds: “Additionally, our close ties with Attijariwafa Bank enabled us to facilitate the negotiations with the ministry of finance of the Kingdom of Morocco.”
Kingdom of Morocco
Mandated lead arranger: Santander
Tenor: 10 years
Date signed: April 2007