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United Capital raises $250m syndicated facility for Orion Group




United Capital Plc has closed the year with a landmark deal in which it raised $250 million fresh capital for Orion Group in one of the largest syndicated transactions structured by an African investment banking institution in 2015.

The $250 million deal, however, is the first tranche of crude oil prepayment facility for Orion Oil from a syndicate of three Pan African banks.

The financial institutions are the United Bank for Africa and its subsidiaries across the continent ($100 million); Africa Export Import Bank of Egypt ($100 million) and Banque Gabonaise et Française Internationale of Gabon ($50 million).

The second tranche of the facility, put at $330 million, would be concluded in the second quarter of 2016, with United Capital, beside playing the role of structuring bank, also act as facility agent and security trustee to the lenders.

The financing deal, beside being a record transaction on the continent in 2015, also came on the heels of the persistent fall in international prices of crude oil.

The Chief Executive Officer, United Capital, Oluwatoyin Sanni, said: “As a Group focused on providing strategic investment banking and financing solutions to our clients across the continent, our roles as Debt Advisor, Structuring Bank, Facility Agent and Security Trustee is a true testament to our ability to provide multiple services within our Group.
“We are very happy to support the Orion Group on this transaction and look forward to continuing our relationship through other deals of this magnitude on the continent.”

With the structuring bank status in the deal, United Capital is responsible for the overall transaction coordination, structuring and syndication for tranche one ($250 million) and tranche two ($330 million) of Orion’s prepayment facility, which will run for a period of four years, with a repayment period of three years.
“The expert capabilities of our Project Finance Team in structuring a transaction that attracted funding from notable Pan-African banks was critical in achieving financial close” the Managing Director of United Capital’s Investment Banking division, Wale Shonibare, said.

Meanwhile, the Director of Project Finance at United Capital,  Kolapo Joseph, will lead the team in preparation for the second tranche of the facility, which will take place early next year.

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