Bank of Montreal acted as joint bookrunner, co-lead arranger and administrative agent; CIBC acted as joint bookrunner and co-lead arranger; and BNP Paribas acted as co-lead arranger on a $200 million debt facility for Victoria Gold.
The loan facility is comprised of a $100 million term loan and a $100 million revolving facility.
All conditions precedent for the drawdown of the loan facility have been satisfied and the company has drawn the full amount of the term facility and approximately $75 million of the revolving credit facility. The funding from the loan facility has been used to repay a previously outstanding project finance facility, which included senior and subordinated debt that was used for the construction of the Eagle Gold Mine. The revolving credit facility is available for general corporate purposes and subject to customary terms and conditions.
“We are thrilled to have achieved our objective to refinance the project finance facility in advance of our targeted time frame. The loan facility features substantially lower interest rates, which is anticipated to reduce carrying costs by approximately 50% in 2021. The loan facility also provides notably improved flexibility, headlined by the ability to draw and repay the revolving credit facility as required and more latitude with respect to permitted distributions, including investments, share buybacks and dividends. Prior to repaying the project facilities, the company had paid over $54 million in principal and interest against the original project construction facilities. Given current gold prices, the company anticipates generation of sufficient free cash flow to continue to pay down material amounts of debt during calendar 2021,” John McConnell, president and CEO of Victoria Gold, said.
The loan facility is available by way of (i) U.S. dollar LIBOR loans, with an interest rate ranging from 3% to 4% over LIBOR (currently one month LIBOR is approximately 0.15%), or (ii) U.S. dollar Base Rate loans, with an interest rate ranging from 2% to 3% over the U.S. Base Rate, each based on the company’s leverage ratio and other customary terms and conditions.
The term facility will be repaid in 12 equal quarterly installments starting at the end of Q1/21. Any outstanding amounts on the revolving credit facility shall be repayable as a bullet on the maturity date, which is extendible at the discretion of the company and the lenders. Any unused portion of the revolving credit facility will be subject to a customary commitment fee. The loan facility matures in December 2023.
The equipment lease facility with Caterpillar Financial Services remains in place. In conjunction with the refinancing of the project debt outlined herein, and subject to acceptable documentation, the terms of the Cat Financial equipment lease facility are to be amended in Victoria’s favor, including a reduction in the interest rate.
Cassels Brock & Blackwell acted as legal counsel and Auramet International acted as financial advisor for Victoria Gold.
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin acted as legal counsel to the banks.
Victoria Gold is an operator of a Canadian gold mine.