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Wed 4 Jul 2012 05:35 PM

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Dubai Duty Free secures $1.75bn loan deal

Airport retailer says financing will be used to fund on-going expansion of Dubai International

Dubai Duty Free secures $1.75bn loan deal

Dubai Duty Free said on Wednesday it had successfully concluded its debut international financing deal to fund its expansion plans.

The airport retailer said in a statement that it had secured a $1.75bn, six-year senior unsecured syndicated credit facility, comprising a conventional term loan facility and Islamic facilities.

It said the financing will fund the on-going expansion of Dubai International Airport, adding that the deal closed significantly oversubscribed, with support from a syndicate of 26 international, regional and local banks.

The strong demand allowed Dubai Duty Free to exercise its right to increase the facility from the initial launch amount of $1.1bn, it added in the statement.

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

Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman, 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.

"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."

Dubai's airport serves over 50m passengers a year as the emirate attempts to leverage its position at the crossroads of air corridors between continents.

Sales at Dubai Duty Free, which covers a sprawling 18,000 square metres of retail space at Dubai International Airport, rose 15.7 percent to $1.46bn in 2011.

The operator, which sponsors high-profile sports events such as the Dubai tennis championship and is famous for lavish giveaways, has seen business boom on the back of sales of branded perfumes, watches and designer clothes.

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