Right deal structure, right sponsors and right for the time ? Qatar Petroleum Corporation (51%) and Sasol's (49%) $700 million QGTL gas-to-liquids project has all but closed. The sponsors and lenders are waiting on signing of the EPC contract in January at which time financial close will officially take place. Commercial close is forecast for all documentation by mid-December.
The structure ? devised by QPC advisor Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) ? has proved popular with the banking sector despite the Middle East angst caused by an impending US-Iraq war. Initial expectations were that between seven and 10 banks would participate with a final hold of around $50 million each. But given such strong banking interest 15 leads have come in at below final hold with pro rata underwritings of $46.7 million each.
Lead arrangers on the deal include Abbey National Treasury Services, Arab Banking Corporation, Apicorp (joint regional bookrunner); Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (BoTM), BNP Paribas (documentation and facility agent); Credit Lyonnais, Credit Agricole Indosuez (international bookrunner); Gulf International Bank (joint regional bookrunner); HSBC Investment Bank (security trustee); HypoVereinsbank; KBC Ireland (pre-financial close...
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