Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC), the United Arab Emirates oil giant, is expected to sign by the end of this week a $6bn loan which has received commitments from a group of 13 banks, sources close to the situation said on Sunday.
ADNOC, which manages almost all of the proven oil reserves in the UAE, is raising the financing as part of an overhaul of its capital structure which involves, among other things, additional debt raising exercises and the initial public offering of minority stakes in some of its units.
The club loan has been largely oversubscribed, having attracted commitments of $750m each from a group of 13 banks. Commitments will be scaled down to reach the targeted size of $6bn size, said the sources.
The group of banks comprises Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BNP Paribas, Citi, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Mizuho, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and UniCredit, said one source close to the matter.
A spokesman for ADNOC, when asked about the loan, said ADNOC is “taking a more active approach to optimising its capital structure to unlock value, free-up capital, enhance returns and drive smart growth. ADNOC is therefore considering various options with regards to its financing strategy.”
“The phased and prudent use of bank and other forms of financing represents an attractive and viable funding option for a more efficient and optimal ADNOC capital structure, whilst also allowing access to new and more diverse pools of liquidity.”
ADNOC started discussions with banks about the loan and other financing facilities earlier this year, in a sign that Middle East energy companies are rethinking their expansion strategies in an era of lower oil prices.
A company controlled by ADNOC, the Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline, raised a debut bond of around $3bn last month, attracting orders of over $11bn while the deal was marketed.
ADNOC is also preparing an initial public offer of shares in its fuel retail business which could raise up to $2bn, sources told Reuters. It could list more than 10 per cent of its fuel retail business by early 2018.
The $6bn loan that ADNOC is expected to sign this week includes three-year and five-year tranches. Sources told Reuters last month that the facility offers an interest rate in the region of 50 basis points over London Interbank Offered Rates for the five-year tranche and 35 bps over Libor for the three-year tranche.