Alba Successfully Refinances its US$1.5 Billion Syndicated Loan Facility with Lower Interest Margin

December 2, 2019
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Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba), the world’s largest smelter ex-China, is pleased to announce the successful refinancing of its US$1.5 Billion Syndicated Loan Facility in connection to the Line 6 Expansion Project.
 
The new senior-unsecured Syndicated Loan Facility of US$1.5 Billion carries an interest margin of 300 basis points per annum over the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). This new facility has an 8-year tenor and the principal amount will be repaid in 16 semi-annual instalments and includes 6-month grace period. This facility comprises two tranches: a US Dollar-denominated senior unsecured conventional term-loan facility (the Conventional Facility) of US$590.3 million and a US Dollar-denominated senior Shari’ah-compliant facility (the Islamic Facility) of US$909.7 million.
 
Arab Banking Corporation B.S.C. (Bank ABC), Gulf International Bank B.S.C. (GIB) and National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) were the Coordinators and Underwriters of this transaction.
 
Commenting on this occasion, Alba’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Shaikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij Al Khalifa said:
 
“We are very pleased with the outcomes of the refinancing of US$1.5 billion as it is a major step in improving Alba’s capital structure and for that, I am very proud of my team led by the Acting CEO Ali Al Baqali for successfully executing this transaction in collaboration with our Coordinators and Underwriters. With this refinancing, we have managed not only to reduce our interest margin from 325 basis points over LIBOR to 300 basis points over LIBOR – a significant milestone amidst a volatile market but also relieve our cash-flow by extending the maturity of the syndication to an 8-year period as well as provide covenant reliefs. This clearly is a vote of confidence for Alba and its game-changer, Line 6 Expansion Project, and for Bahrain. ”
 
Bank ABC’s Group Chief Executive Officer Dr. Khaled Kawan stated:
 
“Bank ABC is honoured to have been entrusted by Alba to act as Coordinator and Bookrunner for their US$1.5 billion refinancing of the Line 6 Expansion Project. The success of the transaction is a testament to Alba’s standing as the preeminent industry flagship of Bahrain. We are certainly pleased with the significant oversubscription achieved during general syndication, with a diverse set of conventional and Islamic banks joining the facility. Bank ABC is proud of its association with a renowned world industry leader such as Alba.”
 
The Group Chief Executive Officer of GIB Abdulaziz Al-Helaissi, stated:
 
“GIB is very proud to have coordinated, underwritten and syndicated Alba’s successfully refinancing at highly competitive terms. This transaction reflects the trust and support of the banking sector in Alba and the Line 6 Expansion Project. It is also a positive indication of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s future prospects with demand for the transaction significantly exceeding the refinancing amount.”
 
“The overwhelming response to this transaction is a testimony to the ability of Alba to attract liquidity for appropriately structured transactions with strong underlying fundamentals. Moreover, the transaction was able to garner interest from new financiers who were not part of the original financing, resulting in a healthy oversubscription. Being the national bank of the Kingdom, NBB takes pride in being associated with strategically important transactions for the country and was, therefore, delighted to support Alba on this landmark transaction”, said Jean Christophe Durand, Chief Executive Officer, National Bank of Bahrain”.
 
The new syndication comprises 23 banks.​

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