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Mon 27 Jul 2009 07:20 PM

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Dolphin Energy signs $4.1bn refinancing - bankers

Refinancing of $3.45bn debt facility, due to mature end-July, included in package.

Dolphin Energy signs $4.1bn refinancing - bankers
DOLPHIN ENERGY: Sending gas from Qatar to the UAE. (Getty Images)

Abu Dhabi-based Dolphin Energy has signed a $4.1 billion debt package that refinances a $3.45 billion debt facility that was due to mature at the end of July, banking sources close to the deal said on Monday.

Last week the company issued a $1.25 billion, 10-year bond, which was the final tranche to be completed.

The other tranches in the refinancing are a $1.42 billion, 10-year commercial loan tranche and a 10-year, $218 million tranche that is guaranteed by Italian export credit agency Gruppo Sace, the bankers said.

There is also $1.225 billion in loans provided by the project sponsors - Mubadala Development Co, France's Total and US Occidental, the bankers added.

As previously reported, the bank loans were oversubscribed in syndication, with the commercial tranche raising $2.6 billion and the Sace tranche $400 million. As a result plans for an Islamic tranche were dropped.

The loans, which pay a margin of 275 bps over LIBOR for the first three years, 300 bps to year six and then 350 bps thereafter, were then scaled back after the bond issue.

The Dolphin gas pipeline project linking Qatar's giant North Field with the UAE and Oman was the first cross-border gas project in the Gulf Arab region. It pumps around 2 billion cubic feet per day to the UAE.

The project was financed in 2005 through a $2.45 billion conventional facility and a $1 billion Islamic loan, which paid a margin of 35-40 bps.

The new financing is more than the original loan because some of the funds will be used for further development of the pipeline, a banker told Reuters LPC in April.

Mubadala Development Co, run by the Abu Dhabi government, owns 51 percent of Dolphin, while Total and Occidental each have a 24.5 percent stake. (Reuters)

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