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Uralkali PXF roars home

Euroweek /

Russian potash firm Uralkali has signed a hugely oversubscribed $1bn five year pre-export finance facility.

Uralkali launched the self arranged club deal at $700m but demand was strong enough from the 14-strong bank group to push commitments to $1.4bn.

The borrower initially only wanted a small increase to the deal size, bankers said in May. However, the deal saw a lot of volatility in the days running up to the loan signing as the final amount was agreed, said a senior loans banker late last week.

Uralkali is paying a margin of 215bp over Libor for the facility. This is 35bp more than the firm&'s last large loan, a $1.02bn five year PXF from September 2011 that paid 180bp. However, the new deal is 35bp cheaper than the margin paid on its $205m August 2012 five year PXF.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch was initial mandated lead arranger, bookrunner, co-ordinator and documentation agent on the new deal. BNP Paribas, Natixis, Societe Generale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and UniCredit were bookrunners and initial mandated lead arrangers.

Deutsche Bank, ICBC, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, Nordea, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Raiffeisen Bank and RBS also participated in the loan.

The loan will be used to refinance existing debt and for general corporate purposes.

"The funds raised will enable us to decrease our financing costs and to increase the average tenor of our loan portfolio," said Victor Belyakov, Uralkali chief financial operator.

As well as successfully tapping the PXF market, Uralkali printed its debut $650m Eurobond in April. And the firm could come back to the Eurobond market before the end of the year, if market conditions are right, the firm told EuroWeek last week.

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