UAE-based Topaz Energy and Marine Ltd. (Topaz), a leading oilfield services multinational and a subsidiary of Renaissance Services, has signed phase one of a US$ 330 million loan agreement with a syndicate of banks towards the refinancing of some of its existing loans. The deal paves the way for extra liquidity and new investments in Topaz’s Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) operations.
The agreement completes phase one of Topaz’s previously announced refinancing initiative. The transaction refinances Topaz’s existing borrowings and releases trapped equity of US$ 60 million. The first phase of US$ 203 million refinancing was arranged and financed by DVB Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and First Gulf Bank.
Vishal Goenka, Group Chief Financial Officer of Renaissance, said: “We are pleased with the support our banking partners have shown in times of difficult economic conditions globally. The successful completion of the deal is testament to the confidence the banks place in Topaz Marine, which is underpinned by the Company’s track record of performance and corporate governance, as well as its prospects for future growth. We are further encouraged by the interest in the second phase of this transaction expressed by regional and international banks which reaffirms the market’s appreciation of the company’s business model.”
Nigel Anton, Global Head of Shipping Finance, Standard Chartered Bank said: “We were delighted to be able to play a key role in the refinancing of Topaz Marine. This financing not only highlights our commitment to our clients, the region and to the shipping business but it also demonstrates the strength of Standard Chartered’s liquidity position and its capital base. We look forward to further growing our relationship with Topaz Marine and with the other local and International financial institutions that we closely worked with to deliver this successful transaction.”
Geir Sjurseth, Managing Director, Offshore Support Group, DVB Bank SE mentioned: “DVB Bank, the leading international transport finance bank and a long time lender to Topaz’s MENA and Caspian offshore business, is confident that signing of the US$ 203 million tranche one will pave the way for a successful US$ 330 million + finance package. The completion of the first phase comes amid a very challenging debt market in general and a banking market in particular. However, Topaz’s preferential position in its key markets and a continued positive outlook for the offshore marine industry made this possible and I think that the phase one commitment will evidence more financial support going forward.”
Topaz Marine ranks among the top ten OSV operators world-wide, and won over US$ 500 million in new charters in 2011 alone. It has one of the youngest, most modern and versatile OSV fleets in the region. The Topaz fleet, with an average age of 7 years compared to an industry average of 13 years, operates primarily in the MENA and Caspian regions.
Source: Topaz Energy, May 28, 2012