Offshore Oil Rig

WFW advises Citibank on US$574 million facility to finance new drilling rig

18 August 2014

Watson, Farley & Williams (“WFW”), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that it has advised Citibank N.A, London Branch (“Citibank”) as global coordinator and sole bookrunner and the syndicate of lenders on a US$574 million ECA-backed loan facility to Stena Atlantic Limited (“Stena”). The facility is to be used to fund the purchase of a semi-submersible mid-water drilling rig.

The loan facility is backed by three ECAs, Garanti Instituttet for Eksportkreditt (“GIEK”), the Export Import Bank of Korea (“Kexim”) and the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (“K-Sure”). Citibank and Kexim are serving as the mandated lead arrangers for the ECA-backed facilities, with AB Svensk Exportkredit (PUBL), Bank Of America, N.A., CITIBANK, DNB Bank ASA, Nordea Bank AB (PUBL), Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (PUBL) AND Handelsbanken Capital Markets and Svenska Handelsbanken AB (PUBL) as mandated lead arrangers for the commercial facility.

The semi-submersible mid-water drilling rig is currently under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. in South Korea, and is expected to be completed in March 2016.

Long-time WFW client Citibank is one of the leading lenders in the maritime industry. Stena Drilling is a business area within Stena AB, the main company within the family owned Swedish conglomerate Stena Sphere. The activities within the Stena Sphere include ferry lines, shipping, property, finance and recycling and environmental divisions, in addition to offshore drilling.

The WFW team was led by London partner and Global Head of Maritime Lindsey Keeble, supported by associate Ida Marie Oedegaard. Partner Richard Stephens provided tax advice

Norton Rose Fulbright advised Stena.

WFW London partner Lindsey Keeble, said: “We are pleased to have advised Citibank, the ECAs and the lenders on this significant deal, which provides Stena with the means to expand its operations in the offshore drilling sector. In conjunction with lenders like Citibank, ECAs are playing an increasingly important role in the financing of large maritime assets, in particular in the offshore oil and gas sectors, where we are regularly working on financings involving this combination of ECA support.”