Ecobank Capital, Orion Oil sign $500m deal

Ecobank Capital, the investment banking arm of Ecobank Group, leading pan-African bank, says it has successfully raised, on behalf of Orion Oil Limited, the sum of $500m to be utilised for the prepayment of crude oil cargos to be supplied by Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (The National Oil Company of the Republic of Congo).

According to a statement by the bank, the facility comprises a United States dollar-denominated $342m tranche and a XAF-denominated $158m tranche.

Ecobank Capital acted as the Mandated Lead Arranger, working with United Bank for Africa Plc as the co-arranging bank. Participating lenders were Afreximbank, BGFIBank Group, UBA Group, Banque Atlantique Group and the Ecobank Group.

Orion is a privately held company whose principal activities include the physical trading of crude oil and refined products, according to the statement.

The company focuses on the value chain of the oil & gas industry, supplying approximately 100,000 metric tons of refined products each month along the West African coast and holding interests in oil & gas fields in Congo.

Orion entered into a 24-month crude oil allocation programme with SNPC, the largest oil & gas company in Central Africa.

The proceeds of the debt facility will be used to fund the prepayment of the aforementioned crude oil cargos (amounting to circa $100m per cargo) on a Free on Board basis.

This transaction is the largest loan syndication completed to date in Central Africa solely funded by regional African banks and for an indigenous company.