Seplat Petroleum signs two loan facilities totaling USD 1bn

08 Jan 2015 – Seplat Petroleum, a Nigerian oil and gas company, secured two debt facilities totaling USD1bn at the end of December 2014, said a source close to the deal and a banker close to the situation.

The first is a USD 700m term agreement for 86 months, with an accordion option for another USD 700m. The loan will be used to refinance the firm’s existing reserve-based loans, said the source close to the deal. The company has three loan facilities drawn down totaling USD 590m, according to the company’s 3Q14 results presentation.

First Bank of Nigeria, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank arranged the loan, said the banker, adding that Standard Bank was also involved in the deal as a lender. The facility pays Libor plus 8.75% and provides commitment fees of 25bps and other fees of 10bps, said the source close to the deal.

The facility is secured against Seplat’s 45% interests in the oil fields OML 4, OML 38, OML 41, and its 40% interest in OPL 283, he continued.

Seplat did not respond to a request for comment.

The second loan is a club deal, said two bankers familiar with the situation. The USD 300m three-year corporate facility has an interest rate of Libor plus 6%, said the source close to the deal.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, FirstRand Bank, JPMorgan, Natixis, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered were involved in the deal, said the source, adding that Standard Chartered worked as facility agent.

Seplat, which went public via a dual listing on the Nigerian and London exchanges in 2014, has a market capitalisation of GBP 634m.

At the end of last year, Afren, a rival Nigerian oil and gas firm, announced it had received an approach from Seplat.

Seplat reported USD 434m in cash on its balance sheet as of end-September. It generated revenues of USD 592m for the first nine months of 2014, down from USD 642m for the first nine months of the previous year. Net operating cash flow was USD 283m at the time of the 3Q14 results presentation.

 by Katie McQue and Davide Barbuscia

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