Dubai Duty Free Gets $1.75bn Loan

The Dubai airport retailer will use funds from the international credit facility to finance on-going expansion.

Airport retailer Dubai Duty Free (DDF) has successfully concluded its debut financing deal and has secured a $1.75 billion, six-year unsecured syndicated credit facility, it announced in a statement.

The international financing included a conventional term loan and Islamic facilities and will be used to fund the on-going expansion of Dubai International Airport.

The financing was significantly oversubscribed, with strong support from a syndicate of 26 international, regional and local banks, DDF said.

“The transaction garnered a significant oversubscription which allowed DDF to exercise its right to upsize the facility from the initial launch amount of $1.1billion and to successfully reduce the margin by 25 basis points,” it said.

“We are extremely pleased with the very positive response that the transaction has elicited from the market and which enabled both an upsizing in the size of the financing and a tightening of the margin,” said Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman of DDF.

“All in all, this is a highly successful debut financing which sets a benchmark for DDF’s future funding strategy and allows us to focus firmly on implementing our development plans for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Citi, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD and HSBC acted as bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers.

Sales at the retailer increased 15.7 per cent to $1.46 billion in 2011. Duty Free, which is spread across 18,000 square metres at Dubai International Airport, is expected to add an additional 8,000 square metres by the end of 2012.