By Davide Barbuscia
A consortium of international investors obtained an $8 billion bridge loan provided by 17 banks for a gas infrastructure deal Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced on Tuesday, sources said.
ADNOC said earlier it had signed a $10 billion deal with investors including Global Infrastructure Partners, Brookfield Asset Management, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, NH Investment & Securities and Italy's Snam.
The investors will acquire a 49% stake in ADNOC Gas Pipeline Assets, a newly formed subsidiary of ADNOC with lease rights to 38 pipelines, with ADNOC holding the remaining 51% majority stake, the company said. The pipeline assets were valued at $20.7 billion.
The acquisition was backed by an $8 billion bridge loan provided by 17 banks, said three sources familiar with the matter.
The bank group includes Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), HSBC, Japan's MUFG, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered.
The financing, which received commitments of almost $14 billion, has a duration of two years and two six-month extension options. The group of investors plans to replace the loan with a bond issuance at or before its maturity, the sources said.
Standard Chartered said in a statement on Tuesday that it worked as senior mandated lead arranger for the financing of the acquisition, without disclosing details of the loan terms.
Emirates NBD, FAB, MUFG, and Societe Generale declined to comment while the other banks did not immediately respond to comment requests. ADNOC declined to comment.
ADNOC will lease its ownership of the pipeline assets to ADNOC Gas Pipelines for 20 years in return for a volume-based tariff. The new subsidiary will distribute 100% of free cash to the investors as quarterly dividends.
(Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)