Baker & McKenzie Represents BNP Paribas in Acquisition Financing for Signal Peak Coal Mine
6 June 2012
New York, USA, June 6, 2012 – Baker & McKenzie represented global banking giant BNP Paribas as coordinating lead arranger in connection with its $250 million acquisition financing of a subsidiary of Gunvor Group Ltd., a privately-held global energy and commodities trading firm. The debt financing was fully underwritten by BNP Paribas and Raiffeisen Bank International AG. The debt financing closed on October 21, 2011 and was fully funded at closing by BNP Paribas and Raiffeisen Bank International AG, the two mandated lead arrangers.
On May 23rd, 2012, the syndication was completed with full allocation to 11 investors. Natixis, Rabobank, ICICI, Caterpillar Financial Services, Credit Suisse, Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien, Banque Cantonale Vaudoise, VTB Bank (Austria) and Federated Project and Core Fund have joined the debt facility.
The financing supports Gunvor's acquisition on October 18, 2011 of 33.3% of the equity in the Signal Peak coal mine located in Montana. Gunvor’s total purchase price for the equity was $400 million. The Signal Peak coal mine produces high-quality, low-sulfur bituminous coal. The sellers of the equity stake were subsidiaries of FirstEnergy Corporation and Boich. Gunvor is one of the leading independent energy trading firms in the world. Its trading operations are headquartered in Geneva.
The acquisition financing is secured with collateral located on three continents and documentation governed by U.S., English, Swiss, and Singapore law. The Baker & McKenzie team representing BNP Paribas was led by New York-based energy finance Partner Ata Dinlenc, and included Partners Janna H. J. Bellwin in New York, Frédéric Bétrisey in Geneva and Michael G. Foundethakis in Paris. Partners Jonathan A. Stevens in New York and John W. Watson in Chicago provided tax and envionmental regulatory advice, respectively. Associates Rekha Auld, Olumide Owoo and Hoon Lee in New York were also core members of the Firm’s team.
“We were pleased to work closely with BNP Paribas on this important and complex secured debt transaction,” said Mr. Dinlenc. “This major acquisition financing highlights our global network and cross-border finance capabilities, particularly in the energy sector.”