Oman Shipping Company has raised US$227mn to finance the purchase of 10 new tankers.

Société Générale acted as the sole arranger and sole underwriter for the deal, which comprises both commercial debt as well as financing backed by Korea’s export credit agency K-Sure.

The 10 medium-range tankers, each with a capacity of 50,000 deadweight tonnes (dwt), will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea and chartered to Shell Tankers Singapore for seven years.

Seven of the vessels are covered by K-Sure under a 12-year facility. The rest are financed under a seven-year mortgage loan, in which Société Générale, Korea Development Bank and ABN Amro acted as mandated lead arrangers.

Oman Shipping Company is wholly owned by the Sultanate of Oman. Commenting on the deal, the company’s CEO Tarik Al-Junaidi says: “We are very pleased with the successful close of this landmark transaction, particularly in the current environment, a testimony to our current strategy and its robustness. Beyond the importance for Oman Shipping Company, this deal perfectly meets our company’s objectives in terms of diversification of funding sources.”

Société Générale’s Middle East CEO Richad Soundardjee adds that the financing comes at a time when various Omani sovereign entities are looking to raise long-term funding.

“By using ECA financing for the majority of this project, Oman Shipping Company is leveraging the capacity of international banks to join future deals. The Sultanate of Oman, like most GCC nations, has significant requirements when it comes to financing assets and infrastructure. As such, Oman Shipping Company is likely to serve as a reference for others in the Middle Eastern market,” he says.