Ship's Bow

WFW advises Citibank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch on US$140m benchmark financing for two SCF Sovcomflot VLCC new buildings

26 June 2012

Watson, Farley & Williams (WFW), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that it has advised Citibank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch on signing a loan agreement with Sovcomflot to finance the construction of two Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs).

Sovcomflot is one of the world’s leading energy shipping companies, with a fleet of 157 vessels with a total deadweight of 12 million tonnes. It is now entering a new market segment with its order of VLCCs – the largest class of tanker. The vessels are under construction in China and will operate on longterm charters with PetroChina International (a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation CNPC), one of the world’s major oil and gas companies. The agreement provides US$140m of financing from Citibank and Bank of America for a period of seven years.

The WFW team was led by Nigel Thomas, partner and head of WFW’s Shipping sector, and David Osborne, partner and head of Asset Finance, with Catriona Henderson, associate.

Vikram Pandit, CEO, Citigroup, said: “Today, Sovcomflot is one of the world’s leading shipping companies, and we are pleased to be a partner in this benchmark deal.”

Commenting on the deal, Nigel Thomas said: “We were delighted to assist two such prominent global financial institutions on a high-profile and strategic financing for Sovcomflot.”