Syngentas $20 billion acquisition loan launches

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A $20 billion non-recourse loan that forms part of the financing backing China National Chemical Corp’s SFr43bn (US $43.45 billion) acquisition of Swiss seeds and pesticides company Syngenta SYNN. VX launched into syndication on Thursday, ChemChina confirmed in a press release. The financing is being arranged by global coordinator HSBC, alongside bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers China CITIC Bank, Credit Suisse, Rabobank and UniCredit. The financing is split between US $15 billion of bridge loans to support the offer and US $5 billion of facilities to backstop Syngenta’s existing debt that is subject to change of control clauses. The loans carry a mixture of maturities, a banking source said.

The financing has been launched to a select group of existing lenders to Syngenta and ChemChina. Lenders are being asked to commit US$1.25 billion each to the financing. A bank meeting will be held in the middle of next week, and syndication is expected to close in early April.

The financing is expected to be refinanced through a mix of debt and equity so than Syngenta retains an investment grade rating, ChemChina said. The loan, which is being raised at the Syngenta level, forms part of a wider US $50 billion financing that also includes US$30bn of recourse loans at the ChemChina level that have been underwritten by China Citic Bank.