Continental Focus, International Reach

AFC Closes SIR Facility

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Africa Finance Corp. (AFC), in its role as Sole Mandated Lead Arranger, successfully closed a €577 million debt financing for Société Ivoirienne de Raffinage (SIR) of Côte d’Ivoire. SIR is the West African country’s only refiner.

AFC’s participation was for €192 million.

SIR has an installed capacity of 3.8 million tons per annum of refining capacity and is currently the largest and most sophisticated operational refinery in West Africa. The purpose of the Facility is to repay historical obligations on crude supply, provide a long tenured facility and reduce the interest rate of SIR’s stock of debt.

The Facility comprises a Euro tranche with a nine-year maturity and a West African CFA franc tranche with a seven-year maturity. The long-term funding solution to refinance historical accrued debts will free up resources to enable SIR to make much needed investments in its current operations and upgrade its facility and production processes to align with current environmental emissions standards and expand its business, thereby contributing to job creation.

Participating banks include AFC, Deutsche Bank, ICBC Standard Bank, United Bank for Africa, NSIA Bank and Bridge Bank. Counsel for the Lenders was Norton Rose Fulbright and Bilé-Aka, Brizoua-Bi & Associés.

The refinancing facility is integral to the International Monetary Fund’s financial program for Côte d’Ivoire as SIR is considered to be a strategic asset for the country.