9 April 2014
Watson, Farley & Williams (“WFW”), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce it advised Nordea Bank Norge ASA (“Nordea”) in relation to a US$500 million syndicated loan facility made available to Euronav NV. Euronav plans to use the senior secured credit facility to finance part of the cost of acquiring 15 very large crude carrier (VLCC) vessels from Maersk.
ABN AMRO Bank NV, Danish Ship Finance, DNB Bank ASA (“DnB”), ING Bank N.V., Nordea and Skandinaviska EnskildaBanken AB (“SEB”) acted as lead arrangers on the loan facility, with BNP Paribas SA/NV, KBC Bank N.V. and Scotiabank Europe plc acting as co-arrangers.
DnB, Nordea and SEB acted as bookrunners and Nordea as agent and security trustee. Euronav also issued a US$235m seven-year bond to help fund the acquisition. The total acquisition price for the 15 VLCCs is US$980m.
Nordea is the largest financial services company in Northern Europe. It is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a total market capitalization of €40 billion.
Euronav is an international shipping enterprise focusing on oil transport by sea. Once the purchase is complete, Euronav’s fleet will consist of 50 ships. In 2013, WFW advised Nordea on a US$300m loan facility extension for Euronav.
The WFW deal team was led by London Maritime partner Michael O’Donnell, with assistance from associate Nigel Willis.
WFW London partner Michael O’Donnell, said:“We’re delighted to have acted for Nordea on this significant deal. Nordea is one of the leading financial institutions in the maritime finance market and the credit facility will enable Euronav to significantly expand its VLCC fleet.
“The deal and Euronav’s fleet expansion plans are also a further vote of confidence in the shipping sector, which is such a key component of global commerce.”