Korea, China banks offer $120 mn loan on Chile LNG terminal stake deal

  • 2019-08-08

The Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) and two Chinese banks have extended a syndicated loan of $120 million to fund a stake purchase in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Chile by a consortium led by InfraPartners Management LLP (IPM) Korea.

The IPM-led consortium signed an agreement on August 7 to acquire a 37% stake in GNL Mejillones (GNLM) LNG terminal from Chile’s state-run copper giant Codelco for $210 million, according to investment banking sources.

For the transaction, it raised $120 million in a loan from IBK, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China.

With the loan investment, IBK became the first South Korean financial institution in investing in South America’s infrastructure asset.

As equity investors, Chilean insurance firms committed $90 million to the consortium through the Chile-based Ameris Capital AGF fund.

According to a statement from Codelco issued earlier this week, Ameris Capital AGF will pay $193.5 million for the 37% stake in the GNLM regasification terminal. It is controlled and operated by French energy giant Engie which owns the remaining 63% stake.

The LNG terminal supplies natural gas to the mining and energy sectors in Chile’s northern zone. Its daily capacity of 5.5 million cubic meters of gas equates to the production of 1,100 MW of electricity.

Final bidders for the stake include a Japanese trading company, a US infrastructure fund and an LNG terminal operator of South America, the sources said.

Last year, IPM represented a consortium of South Korean brokerage firms — Samsung Securities Co. Ltd., Hanwha Investment & Securities Co. Ltd. and IBK Securities Co. Ltd. — to acquire a 39.24% stake in Dunkirk LNG Terminal in France from EDF and Total S.A. for around 850 billion won.

For the GNLM terminal deal, both Hanwha Investment & Securities and IBK Securities underwrote the $120 million loan for weeks before selling them down to the two Chinese banks and IBK.

By Hyun-il Lee

hiuneal@hankyung.com

<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>