Bank scoops Euromoney awards

Bank scoops Euromoney awards

Standard Bank has been recognised for its involvement in some of the biggest projects in Africa in 2008 after being awarded three Euromoney Projects Finance awards.

The awards include African PPP Deal of the Year for Lekki Epe-Expressway, African Transport Deal of the Year for TAV Tunisie and African Power Deal of the Year for Rabai IPP by Euromoney Project Finance Magazine.

The awards, judged using a weighting system that looks at innovation, complexity, market benchmark, lending climate, sponsor strength and repeatability will be formally announced in the February issue of Project Finance and presented at an Awards Dinner on 12 February at The Brewery, London.

The Lekki Project is a 30-year concession contract that involves the construction and operation of a toll road corridor along the Lekki peninsular of Lagos, Nigeria.

Standard Bank’s role in the landmark deal was as Arranger and Underwriter of the offshore commercial funding, as well as the Arranger of the offshore currency hedging. In addition, Standard Bank acted as Co-financial Advisor to the project.

Funding for the project, which should take three years to complete, comes from the Lagos State which has invested Naira N5bn (US$42 million) in a 20-year mezzanine tranche. The African Development Bank provided N10bn (USD85 million) senior debt over 15 years and local bank lenders provided a 12-year note facility of N9.4bn (US$80 million).

The remaining NGN 11bn (USD93 million) 15 year term funding was provided by Standard Bank Plc and onshore affiliate, Stanbic IBTC Plc.

Commenting on the deal Jonathan Wood, Global Head of Project Finance at Standard Bank, said “This was one of the highest profile transactions in Nigeria this year, given it’s path-finding structure and the number of Lagosians directly affected by the condition of the road.”

“The sponsors of the project, Asset and Resource Management (ARM), and Larue Projects, together with co-investor, the Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund, should be commended for their pioneering investment.”

TAV Tunisie (Enfidha and Monastir Airport Concessions) is a EUR563m project involving two inter-related 40-year concessions: (i) to upgrade, operate and maintain the existing Monastir airport, Tunisia’s largest airport in terms of passenger traffic; and (ii) to design, build, finance and operate a new international airport to be located in Enfidha, Tunisia.

TAV Airports Holding (TAV Airports) was selected as the preferred bidder on 16 March 2007, and after the Concession Agreements were signed in May 2007, TAV Airports chose to mandate Standard Bank, ABN AMRO and Sociètè Gènèrale as Lead Arrangers in August 2007 after a competitive bidding process. The Lead Arrangers introduced the IFC to the transaction in January 2008.

Commenting on the deal George Kotsovos, Director, Project Finance at Standard Bank Plc said, “This was the first public-private partnership in North Africa and the largest private sector investment in Tunisia to date, and is a significant deal for the Tunisian government, for TAV Airports and the lenders.

“The construction of a new airport will help to accelerate the growth of the tourism industry as well as stimulate employment, and we are delighted it achieved financial close in June 2008 despite difficult conditions in global credit markets.”

The 90 MW Rabai IPP is a heavy fuel oil plant located near Mombasa in Kenya, with the ability to convert to natural gas should this become available in Kenya. With a national effective operating capacity of 1,100MW-1,150MW, the Rabai project will thus increase capacity by around 8 per cent in Kenya.

The current demand shortfall is being met by expensive high-speed diesel generators, which Rabai will take out.

The €112.8m project is backed by €79m of senior debt and €5.6m of mezzanine debt. The debt is provided entirely by European development finance institutions and was arranged by Frontier Markets Fund Managers (FMFM).

FMO, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), DEG and Proparco are lending the senior amount for 15 years at 350bp, with a two-year grace period, while EAIF and Proparco are adding the mezzanine debt at 750bp for 15 years with five-year grace period.

Commenting on this deal, Douglas Bennet from FMFM said, “This investment will give a significant boost to the Kenyan economy, while providing much needed new generating capacity to help reduce recent electricity rationing.

“The fact that it was closed shortly after the political turmoil in Kenya at the start of 2008 and during the chaos of the Lehman collapse, is a testament to the dedication of all those involved with this project.”

EAIF is advised by FMFM. FMFM is a division of Standard Bank.

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