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Wed 27 Jan 2016 06:20 PM

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UAE's GEMS Global said to seek $250m loan

Sources say portfolio company of Dubai-based schools operator could agree deal as soon as mid-February

UAE's GEMS Global said to seek $250m loan

GEMS Global, a portfolio company of Dubai-based schools operator GEMS Education, has asked banks for a $250 million two-part loan which could be agreed as soon as mid-February, sources aware of the matter said on Wednesday.

The company has proposed a three-year loan, split between a conventional financing worth 642 million dirhams ($175 million) and a portion structured as an Islamic loan, which will be worth 275 million dirhams, two sources with direct knowledge of the deal said.

GEMS Global, which looks after the international operations of the company, was not immediately available to comment.

There will also be an option to extend the loan for a further year at the discretion of the borrower, added one of the sources, a UAE-based banker.

Emirates NBD is the sole arranger of the transaction, which will be used for general corporate purposes, the sources said.

The firm will pay an interest rate of 4.8 percent for the three year loan. Should the loan extension be exercised, they will pay 6 percent, the UAE-based banker added.

In 2014, private equity investors Fajr Capital, Blackstone and Bahrain sovereign fund Mumtalakat acquired a "significant minority stake" in GEMS Education's emerging markets business.

GEMS has 78 schools in regions including America, Middle East and North Africa, Asia and Europe.

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