Dolphin seeking to refinance $3.45bn loan - sources

Abu Dhabi-based Dolphin Energy looking to replace 4-year debt maturing this year.
Dolphin seeking to refinance $3.45bn loan - sources
By Martin Morris
Tue 10 Mar 2009 12:37 AM

Dolphin Energy, a gas supply venture led by Abu Dhabi, is seeking commitments from existing lenders to refinance a $3.45 billion loan, two bankers with direct knowledge of the deal told Bloomberg on Monday.Dolphin is asking lenders to replace the four-year debt maturing this year with a new loan that may pay annual interest between 250 basis points and 350 basis points over Libor (London interbank offered rate), the two bankers said. That compares with a margin of 45 basis points on the existing debt, according to data on Dolphin’s Web site.

The company supplies natural gas from Qatar to the UAE and Oman, with the capacity for 2 billion cubic feet a day to fuel power plants, aluminum smelters and households.

Abu Dhabi, owner of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, has a 51 percent stake in the project through its Mubadala Development Co. investment arm, and Total SA and Occidental Petroleum own 24.5 percent each.

Companies in the region are struggling to refinance debt owed to international institutions as banks cut lending after $1.2 trillion of write-downs and credit losses worldwide. Borse Dubai turned to local government-owned banks to make up for a shortfall in refinancing a $2.5 billion loan last month.

HSBC Holdings, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank are among 25 banks that provided the existing loan, according to Dolphin’s Web site. The loan included a $1 billion portion compliant with Islamic Sharia.

Royal Bank of Scotland is advising the company on the refinancing.

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