Golar LNG announced it has executed a $1.125 billion financing agreement to fund the first 8 of its 13 newbuild vessels and FSRUs. The facility is divided into three tranches: a term loan of $450 million funded by a consortium of lenders and guaranteed by a 95% Korea Trade Insurance Corporation policy; a term loan of $450 million funded by The Export Import Bank of Korea and a term loan of $225 million funded by a syndicate of commercial banks. The tranches have a 12 year repayment profile.
Golar said Citibank, London branch acted as global coordinator, bookrunner and documentation agent to the transaction. The mandated lead arrangers are Citibank, Danske Bank A/S, DvB Bank SE, The Export Import Bank of Korea, Nordea Bank Norge ASA, Korea Finance Corporation, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB and SwedBank AB.
In anticipation of entering into this financing, the company had previously entered into interest rate swaps to hedge the majority of the loan such that the all-in interest cost for the initial seven years of the facility will be approximately 3.74%.
Commenting on the agreement, Golar’s chairman John Fredriksen said, “Golar has demonstrated its commitment to LNG Shipping and FSRUs with its newbuilding program, on the back of extremely attractive long term market fundamentals. To have the support of the Korean ECAs to this extent — without requirement for contracts in place — enables Golar to take a more flexible and long-term approach to the LNG shipping market. To see so many of our relationship banks together with the Korea Finance Corporation and a number of new banks participating in this oversubscribed facility is both reassuring and welcome.”