Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised a syndicate of banks on a US$200 million senior secured reserves based lending financing for Cheiron Finance Limited, a subsidiary of PICO International Petroleum, part of the multi-national PICO Group conglomerate. The firm represented the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, HSBC Bank Egypt S.A.E. and HSBC Bank Middle East Limited as mandated lead arrangers.
The proceeds of the financing will be used by Cheiron Finance Limited, and its operating companies, to finance the expansion of operations and optimisation of production at its oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Suez. These fields help supply Egypt's oil and natural-gas-fired power plants, which provide the vast majority of the country's electricity.
"Reaching financial close in this key project, and securing the finance to expand operations, will have a significant positive impact on energy supply in the region's most populous state," said White & Case partner Jason Kerr. "The cross-border deal team was able to utilise its experience to successfully deliver this project financing."
"Oil and gas are vital components of Egypt's energy mix" said Hesham Elbosaty, treasurer of the PICO Group. "By tapping into existing fields and developing new properties, we can help provide the fuel necessary to power the country's economy.
The White & Case team was led by London-based partners Jason Kerr and Tom Bartlett and Johannesburg-based partner Mukund Dhar. Support was provided by associates Johanna Hayward and Tarek Mohanna (London) and Sara Green (Johannesburg).
The transaction represents yet another success for White & Case's highly regarded reserves based lending practice as well as its market-leading presence in the MENA region, following on from (among others) the successful closure of a US$700 million reserves based lending to Petrobras Oil & Gas B.V. for offshore oil fields in Nigeria earlier in the year, a multi-million dollar financing facility for oil fields in Chad and a US$765 million financing facility in respect of OML 30 in Nigeria.
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