Antwerp-based tanker operator Euronav has signed a USD750 million financing facility with a group of leading banks that it says will be used to finance its recent order for four new VLCCs, as well as to refinance 21 vessels already in its fleet.
Euronav announced in June that it was buying four VLCCs currently being built at Hyundai Heavy Industries for a combined cost of USD384 million. They are all to be delivered between now and May 2016.
The facility is also to be used, however, to refinance 21 existing vessels, comprising one V-Plus vessel, six VLCCs and 14 Suezmaxes, as well as for the group’s general corporate and working capital purposes.
It will refinance two existing facilities: a USD 750 million loan agreement dating from June 2011 and a USD65 million facility signed in December 2011.
Euronav CEO Paddy Rodgers said that the new facility, which was 1.35-times oversubscribed, would give the group additional flexibility.
“We believe that in today’s market, bank loans are the best way to create shareholder value for the short- as well as the long-term,” he said. “The margin and the structure are a token of our solid relationship with a stable group of supporting lenders and we are very grateful to be in such a strong position.”
Leading banks supporting the facility are DNB, Nordea Bank Norge, ABN AMRO, ING, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment, KBC, Scotiabank Europe, Société Générale, Belfius, and HSBC.
The Original Posted by Andrew Spurrier/IHS Maritime