Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications, the UAE-based regional mobile satellite company, has managed to get a $520 million financing facility, successfully syndicated by a banking consortium. The financing facility will be used to complete a project, which is said to be worth about $1 billion.
The package has a term of five years, and is based on a $420 million term conventional loan and a $100 million construction and leaseback of its ground station assets that is being provided according to Islamic financial principles.
According a press release issued by Thuraya, the financing deal represents the first time that major telecom financing has been put together for a project in the Middle East region, and it is regionally sponsored project seeking finance from international banks. Furthermore, the release added, it is the first telecom transaction that combines conventional and Islamic facilities.
ANZ Investment Bank, SG Investment Bank and Union National Bank underwrote the conventional facility, while the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank underwrote the Islamic component and Kuwait Finance House joined as co-arranger.
They were followed by the Arab Banking Corporation and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, who joined as arrangers, and Credit Lyonnais, MashreqBank and Standard Chartered Bank, who joined as co-arrangers
Eight more banks joined the syndicate after the sub-underwriting phase, including the Arab Investment Company, British Arab Commercial Bank, Commercial Bank of Oman, Commercial Bank of Qatar, DG Bank, Doha Bank, First Gulf Bank, and United Arab Bank.
The Thuraya satellite was launched on October 21 and commercial services are set to begin in the first quarter of next year. Thuraya is distributing its services through a network of public and private telecom operators. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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