Clifford Capital finances Summit Power International’s Power Plant Project in Bangladesh amid COVID crisis
Singapore, 15 May 2020 – Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd. (“Clifford Capital”), the Singapore-based specialist provider of debt financing solutions globally to companies and projects with a nexus to Singapore in the infrastructure and maritime sectors, is pleased to announce the closing of the US$140m Senior Secured Term Loan Financing for Summit Gazipur II Power Limited, a subsidiary of Summit Power International, in relation to the development, construction and operation of a 300-megawatt oil-fired power plant (“Gazipur II” or the “Project”) in the Gazipur district of People's Republic of Bangladesh (“Bangladesh”).
This transaction marks a significant milestone in the project financing market in Bangladesh as it is the first Independent Power Project (“IPP”) in Bangladesh to be financed solely by international commercial financing institutions, whereas prior projects had been financed substantially by development finance institutions and multi-lateral development banks.
The financing process was completed despite continuing lockdowns in Bangladesh and Singapore as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the constructive approach taken by both lenders as well as the sponsor in overcoming the practical challenges faced in closing a project financing transaction in these difficult times.
This transaction also marks the first project financing concluded between Clifford Capital and Summit Power International, a leading infrastructure developer and operator in South Asia that is headquartered in Singapore. The financing comprised a combination of a fixed rate term loan provided by Clifford Capital, alongside a floating rate term loan provided by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (“SMBC”). Clifford Capital, as Joint Coordinator, played a key role in the structuring and execution of this financing and led the legal, financial modelling and insurance due-diligence work streams.
Audra Low, Chief Executive Officer of Clifford Capital said: “Clifford Capital is delighted to support Summit Power International, an established Singapore-based infrastructure developer, in the company’s plans to expand its energy portfolio in Bangladesh. The financing is core to our mandate of supporting companies in Singapore in their overseas investments and stands testament to Clifford Capital’s capabilities to structure, coordinate and execute innovative financings, leveraging on our expertise in the power sector in Bangladesh. It also showcases Singapore’s role as a key infrastructure financing hub for the region with the sponsor, financiers and key advisers for this financing all based in Singapore.”
Muhammed Aziz Khan, Chairman of Summit Group of Companies said: “We at Summit Power International, are pleased to have received strong and constructive support from Clifford Capital and SMBC throughout the financing stages of our 300 MW Project in Gazipur. Both Clifford Capital and SMBC have demonstrated their value addition by working with other financiers and advisers as well as Bangladesh Bank (“BB”) to achieve this significant milestone by delivering a competitive bespoke financing package during this lockdown."
The Project was awarded in June 2017 under a scheme by the Power Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh to deliver 2,600MW of fast track power projects to meet the growing need for power in the country. The Project will supply power to the Bangladesh Power Development Board (“BPDB”) under a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) with a long-term fuel supply agreement with Summit Oil & Shipping Co. Ltd (SOSCL) the largest fuel oil supplier in Bangladesh and part of Summit Group of Companies. The Project achieved commercial operations on 10 May 2018, and had since been supplying reliable power into the grid, for the much needed power for businesses and homes in Bangladesh with its growing economy.
About Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd.:
Clifford Capital is a specialist provider of structured finance solutions established with support from the Government of Singapore to help Singapore companies and companies with a nexus to Singapore to grow internationally and capture new business in the global marketplace.
Clifford Capital offers competitive and bespoke project finance, asset-backed and other structured debt financing solutions for eligible Singapore-based companies in support of their overseas investments or exports in the infrastructure, offshore marine and shipping sectors. Since its inception in 2012, the company has committed over US$2 billion to various projects around the world including Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Central and South America.
As a non-bank financial institution with a unique business model, Clifford Capital is well-positioned to offer competitive financing solutions to clients, particularly in terms of longer maturities for senior debt and flexible debt product offerings across the capital structure.
For more information, visit https://www.cliffordcap.sg/
About Summit Power International:
Incorporated in Singapore, Summit Power International is the first and largest independent power producer (IPP) in Bangladesh with a generating capacity of 1,941 MW, another 583 MW under construction. Summit also owns and operates a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) vessel and supplies 500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of re-gasified gas to Bangladesh. Recently Japan’s largest energy company JERA Co., Inc. (“JERA”), has acquired a 22% stake in Summit Power International. Summit had earlier received equity investment in its FSRU project from Mitsubishi Corporation.
For more information, visit www.summitpowerinternational.com and www.soscl.net
Clifford Capital-led FLNG Gimi Financing Wins at 2019 PFI and Marine Money Awards
Singapore, 9 April 2020 – Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd. (“Clifford Capital”), a specialist provider of debt financing solutions globally to companies and projects with a nexus to Singapore in the infrastructure and maritime sectors, today announces that the USD700m senior secured term loan financing for the Gimi Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (“FLNG”) project (“FLNG Gimi” or the “Project”), has been awarded the “Offshore Project Finance Deal of the Year” at the 2019 Marine Money “Deal of the Year” Awards.
This win closely follows Clifford Capital’s recent win at the 2019 Project Finance International (“PFI”) Awards, where the Project has been awarded the “African LNG Deal of the Year”.
Clifford Capital, as Lead Coordinator and one of four Bookrunning Mandated Lead Arrangers (“BMLAs”), arranged a USD700m senior secured term loan (the “Facility”) to Gimi MS Corporation (the “Borrower”). The Borrower is jointly owned by Golar LNG and Keppel Capital on a 70:30 basis and the Facility was established to finance the development, construction and operation of the FLNG Gimi.
The Project will see the conversion of a Moss LNG carrier at Keppel Shipyard in Singapore into a FLNG unit. When completed, the FLNG Gimi will be stationed at a nearshore hub located on the Mauritania and Senegal maritime border under a 20-year charter contract with BP in the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim field offshore West Africa.
The Facility, which features a tenor of 10 years covering the pre- and post-delivery phases on the back of a 12-year amortisation profile, is the first limited recourse project financing for a FLNG vessel in the international commercial bank market. Clifford Capital assembled the four-bank group which includes ABN Amro, ING and Natixis to jointly structure, arrange and provide the underwriting commitment, followed by a syndication effort to bring in additional commercial banks for the financing.
The BMLAs successfully syndicated the Facility to eight participating banks in September 2019, with the final bank group comprising 12 lenders, and achieved financial close in October 2019. Notably, the financing attracted strong interest from Asia-based banks, with a total of five Asian lenders, including three Singapore-based lenders, reflecting the robust demand for commercial financing of projects being developed by world-class yards and Sponsors with an established track record.
“The award is a testament to our growing capabilities as a specialist provider of financing solutions globally. We are honoured to have played a significant role in developing this novel limited recourse project financing solution and in elevating a groundbreaking FLNG concept amongst the international banking community. Leveraging on our ability to structure bespoke innovative solutions, we will continue to address the market gaps in cross-border project and structured financing and fulfill our mandate of supporting Singapore companies in their key exports and catalyzing their growth in overseas markets” said Clive Kerner, CEO of Clifford Capital.
The FLNG Gimi follows from the successful conversion of the world’s first FLNG conversion of Hilli Episeyo, which Keppel Shipyard delivered in record time and on budget to Golar LNG in 2017.
Mr Chris Ong, CEO of Keppel Offshore & Marine said, “As a leading provider of solutions to the offshore, marine and energy industries, Keppel O&M welcomes the increased project financing support in Singapore, spearheaded by Clifford Capital. This encourages customers to take up innovative solutions like our FLNG franchise. Keppel O&M’s pioneering solutions, engineering know-how and execution track record, complemented by the syndication expertise of commercial lenders such as Clifford Capital, will keep us at the forefront of developing winning solutions for the market.”
Keppel’s participation as equity investor in addition to its role as EPC contractor is a strong reflection of its confidence in the prospects of the FLNG sector and its buy-in to the viability of the conversion concept. The long-term charter with BP provides further validation of this concept. The successful conclusion of this commercial project financing for the FLNG segment will pave the way for future financings of similar projects.
“We are pleased to partner with Clifford Capital on the development of an innovative and fit-for-purpose finance solution for the FLNG Gimi. Keppel’s investment in the FLNG Gimi harnesses the diverse capabilities of the Group. Currently undergoing conversion at Keppel Offshore & Marine, the FLNG Gimi is intended to be the first investment for the Keppel Asia Infrastructure Fund, which recently achieved its first closing,” said Ms Christina Tan, CEO of Keppel Capital.
Clifford Capital Leads USD700M Facility to Support Golar LNG and Keppel Capital in Landmark Conversion of an FLNG Vessel
Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd. (“Clifford Capital”), a specialist provider of debt financing solutions globally to companies and projects with a nexus to Singapore in the infrastructure and maritime sectors, announces the successful closing of the USD700m senior secured term loan (the “Facility”) to Gimi MS Corporation (the “Borrower”), a transaction in which Clifford Capital acted as Lead Coordinator and Bookrunning Mandated Lead Arranger (“BMLA”). The Borrower is jointly owned by Golar LNG and Keppel Capital on a 70:30 basis and the Facility was established to finance the development, construction and operation of a Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (“FLNG”) vessel (the “FLNG Gimi”) under a 20-year charter with BP.
For more details, please refer to the press release
Clifford Capital At The Asia Infrastructure Forum
Clifford Capital was pleased to support the inaugural Asia Infrastructure Forum (“AIF”) in October 2019 as a silver sponsor. The AIF was co-organised by Enterprise Singapore, Infrastructure Asia, Ministry of Finance Singapore and Monetary Authority of Singapore, with World Bank Group as Strategic Partner, Financial Times as Conference Partner, and Singapore Business Federation as Supporting Partner. The forum was designed to build on the success and take forward the agendas of two of the region’s most important industry events – the Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable and the World Bank-Singapore Infrastructure Finance Summit. Speakers included Government Ministers, large asset owners, leading private investors and fund managers, MDBs, developers, technology innovators, key advisors and more. AIF featured the latest developments around finance, sustainable infrastructure and the impact of new technology before drilling more deeply into specific sectors, including energy, cities and transport, with case studies showcasing ground-breaking projects, advanced technologies and emerging funding structures.
Clifford Capital’s CEO, Clive Kerner, presented a case study at the AIF on Asia’s first project finance securitisation executed by Clifford Capital through Bayfront Infrastructure Capital, illustrating how asset securitisation can be leveraged to mobilise institutional investment into Asian infrastructure debt in order to meet the huge financing needs that the region faces for its infrastructure development. He discussed on how this would provide a means for banks, which are increasingly liquidity and capital constrained by Basel III regulations in their ability to continue providing long term loans, to recycle their commitments. Clive also went on to discuss potential future enhancements such as the introduction of a warehousing facility and an eligibility framework to govern loan take-out criteria.
Bayfront Infrastructure Capital was established in connection with the creation of an Infrastructure Take-Out Facility, designed and structured by Clifford Capital. Bayfront Infrastructure Capital offers investors exposure to a pre-assembled portfolio of marquee project and infrastructure loans to borrowers in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East through a securitisation format, which achieved financial close in July 2018.
Clifford Capital prices US$300 million 5-year public bond offering at 1.733%
Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd. (“Clifford Capital” or “the Company”), a specialist provider of project and structured finance solutions in support of Singapore-based companies in the infrastructure and maritime sectors, priced its US$300 million 5-year public bond offering yesterday. This issue is the Company’s first public bond offering in 2019 following its 10-year and 3-year public issues of $300m each in 2018.
Priced at par, the 5-year US$300 million bond offers a coupon of 1.733% p.a. with a September 10, 2024 maturity. This corresponds to a spread of 35 basis points over the 1.25% US Treasury due August 2024. The bond is unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by the Government of Singapore and is expected to be assigned the highest issue rating of AAA by Standard & Poor’s. DBS Bank Ltd., HSBC, and Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited were the Joint Lead Managers for the transaction.
Following this transaction, Clifford Capital has total outstanding issuance of US$1.39 billion under its US$1.40 billion Euro Medium Term Note (“EMTN”) programme from both public issuances and private placements.
Mr. Clive Kerner, Chief Executive Officer of Clifford Capital, said: “We are pleased with the successful outcome of our 5-year $300m public offering in challenging market conditions with heightened rate volatility. Priced at a spread of 35 bps over 5-year US Treasuries, this is the tightest spread over UST achieved since our debut bond issue in 2013. We would like to thank our investors and arranger banks for their continued support for Clifford Capital.”
For more details, please refer to the press release.
Clifford Capital At The IFR Asia Asian Development Bank Roundtable 2019: Mobilising Markets For Sustainable Infrastructure
Sustainable infrastructure was high on the agenda at this year’s Asian Development Bank annual meetings in Fiji, where climate change and ocean health have a pronounced impact on everyday life. The capital markets are also showing a growing interest in sustainable development, but Asia is still a long way from harnessing the market’s full potential. IFR’s latest in a series of knowledge-sharing seminars with the ADB set out to look at the role of the capital markets in providing long-term financing for Asian infrastructure. Across the region, the vast majority of infrastructure projects are funded by local banks and local governments, leaving the growing pool of institutional capital untapped. Efforts to connect institutional investors with long-term investment opportunities have led to a number of recent landmark financings, including project-related bond issues in US dollars and local currencies and Asia’s first securitisation of project finance loans.
Clifford Capital’s CEO, Clive Kerner, was a panellist at the IFR Asia Asian Development Bank Roundtable 2019, which discussed several initiatives to bring more infrastructure-related assets into the local and international bond markets. Clive highlighted that there is an increasing role for structured finance in terms of facilitating the transfer of project finance loans from bank balance sheets into the capital markets and thereby crowding in institutional debt. Specifically, he discussed how Clifford Capital was able to come to market with Asia’s first project finance securitisation and its benefits, which include providing institutional investors with access to investment grade securities and exposure to a high quality diversified Asian infrastructure credit portfolio. Clive also discussed potential future enhancements such as a warehousing facility in the works to give banks an easy way to recycle their capital.
Bayfront Infrastructure Capital’s US$458m Securitisation Awarded 2018 Structured Finance Issue of the Year By IFR Asia
Clifford Capital is pleased to announce that the US$458m project finance securitisation by Bayfront Infrastructure Capital Pte. Ltd. has been named by IFR Asia as the recipient of the Structured Finance Issue Award for 2018.
IFR Asia noted the following in its awards citation:
“Clifford Capital’s first securitisation of project finance loans revived Asian interest in collateralised loan obligations, created a new asset class for the region and enhanced Singapore’s claim as a centre for infrastructure financing.”
“… settled on a structure that would overcome many of the hurdles in attracting fund managers to individual projects.”
“The portfolio approach, with dozens of project finance loans as the underlying collateral pool, appealed to buyside investors looking to diversify, and freed up bank balance sheets for the next round of projects, creating a template for future deals that can help close Asia’s infrastructure funding gap.”
Bayfront Infrastructure Capital Pte. Ltd. issued four classes of Notes in the first infrastructure project finance securitisation in Asia. Leveraging on Clifford Capital’s experience and expertise in project finance and loan portfolio management, Clifford Capital acted as Sponsor, Manager and Subordinated Note Investor in the transaction. Citi and Standard Chartered acted as Joint Global Coordinator for the transaction.
Clifford Capital prices US$300 million 3-year public bond offering at 3.423%
Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd. (“Clifford Capital”), a specialist provider of project and structured finance solutions in support of Singapore-based companies in the infrastructure and maritime sectors, priced its US$300 million 3-year public bond offering on 8 November 2018. The issue is the second public bond offering by the company in 2018.
Priced at par, the 3-year US$300 million bond offers a coupon of 3.423% p.a. with a November 15, 2021 maturity. This corresponds to a spread of 40 basis points over the 2.875% US Treasury due October 2021. The bond is unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by the Government of Singapore and is expected to be assigned the highest issue rating of AAA by Standard & Poor’s. Citibank, HSBC and UBS were the Joint Lead Managers for the transaction.
Following this transaction, Clifford Capital has total outstanding issuance of US$1.19 billion under the US$1.35 billion Euro Medium Term Note (“EMTN”) programme from both public issues and private placements.
Mr. Clive Kerner, Chief Executive Officer of Clifford Capital, said: “The 3-year bond offering establishes a new public pricing point for Clifford Capital. We are delighted with the quality order book and strong investor interest, particularly from bank treasuries and asset managers. We would like to thank our banks and our investors for their continuing support of Clifford Capital. The proceeds will be used to fund the ongoing growth of the Company.”
For more details, please refer to the press release.
Clifford Capital at the Asia Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable 2018
Clifford Capital was pleased to participate in the Asia Infrastructure Roundtable (“ASIR”) 2018 held at Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre on 23rd October 2018.
ASIR, which is organised annually by Enterprise Singapore, is the premier platform for dialogue between government leaders, policy makers, investors and infrastructure companies on Asian infrastructure projects and was the 8th meeting.
The highlight of the event was the formal launch of Infrastructure Asia and an opening address by the Guest of Honour Mr. Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance. Infrastructure Asia is a Singapore-led initiative which will support Asia’s economic and social growth through infrastructure development. It works hand-in-hand with players in the regional infrastructure ecosystem, as well as harnessing the collective capabilities and networks of various government agencies such as Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Professional Services Programme Office (PSPO), to catalyse infrastructure projects in the region.
Mr. Heng Swee Keat referred to the launch of Infrastructure Asia as being further evidence of Singapore’s ongoing efforts to strengthen further its position as Asia’s leading infrastructure financing hub. In his address, Minister Heng referred to Clifford Capital’s role in arranging Asia’s first ever securitisation of project finance loans via Bayfront Infrastructure Capital, representing an important initiative in creating a capital market in Singapore focused on the infrastructure sector. He also noted Clifford Capital’s role in financing the landmark Myingyan IPP project in Myanmar; this project was sponsored by a Singapore company, SembCorp Utilities, and the financing was led from Singapore. The project was the first internationally banked power project in the country. Both transactions were also featured on the Infrastructure Financial Transactions & Innovation Panel as part of the Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable.
Clifford Capital’s CEO, Clive Kerner, was a panellist in the opening plenary on “Delivering Infrastructure Projects in ASEAN”. He spoke about the need to mobilise institutional investment into Asian infrastructure debt in order to meet the huge financing needs the that the region faces for its infrastructure development. He also said this would provide a means for banks, which are increasingly liquidity and capital constrained by Basel III regulations in their ability to continue providing long term loans, to be able to recycle their commitments. Once the underlying projects have reached completion, have an operating track record and are producing stable cashflows they are ideally suited to investment by long term institutional capital providers including insurance companies and endowment funds.
Clive went on to mention Bayfront Infrastructure Capital (“BIC”), which was established in connection with the creation of an Infrastructure Take-Out Facility (“TOF”) that was designed and structured by Clifford Capital to mobilise institutional capital for infrastructure debt in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. It does so by facilitating the transfer of exposure in long-term project and infrastructure loans from banks to institutional investors. Bayfront Infrastructure Capital offers investors exposure to a pre-assembled portfolio of marquee project and infrastructure loans to borrowers in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East through the first infrastructure project finance securitisation in Asia, which achieved financial close in July this year.
Earlier in the day Clive appeared on MONEYFM 98.3 to talk about Asia’s infrastructure financing needs, Singapore’s role as an infrastructure financing hub and Clifford Capital’s remit. Click here to hear the podcast.
Inaugural Infrastructure Project Finance Securitisation in Asia
The first infrastructure project finance securitisation in Asia was successfully priced today. Four classes of Notes were issued by Bayfront Infrastructure Capital Pte. Ltd. (“BIC”), which is sponsored by Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd. (“Clifford Capital”), a Singapore-based specialist arranger and provider of project and structured finance solutions.
Three classes of investment grade rated notes (Class A, B and C Notes) were offered to institutional investors and will be listed on SGX-ST. Strong demand was seen from a variety of institutional investors including insurance companies, pension funds, endowment funds, family offices, specialised asset managers as well as individual sophisticated investors.
Mr. Clive Kerner, Chief Executive Officer of Clifford Capital, said: “This is an important milestone for Clifford Capital, and we are delighted to have received strong support from institutional investors in this landmark transaction. Leveraging on Clifford Capital’s experience and expertise in project finance and loan portfolio management, we are committed to developing this asset class as a long-term sustainable solution to encourage institutional participation for Asia’s fast growing infrastructure funding needs.”
For more details, please refer to the press release.
Sembcorp’s Myingyan Project is awarded Conventional Power Project Financing Deal of the Year 2017 by TXF
Clifford Capital is pleased to announce that Sembcorp’s 225MW Myingyan Independent Power Project (IPP) has been named by TXF as the winner of the Conventional Power Project Financing Deal of the Year 2017.
TXF noted the following in its awards citation:
“A deal that set the template for IPP financings in an unrated country, the Myingyan IPP financing – Myanmar’s debut in the internationally banked long-term project finance market and its first non-recourse financing in the power sector – managed to draw multilateral, commercial lenders and political risk insurance providers into a package which works economically for all.”
Clifford Capital played a key role in the financing of this Project as the Lenders’ Documentation Bank – working with Sembcorp from an early stage to coordinate the development of the financing structure and financing term sheet, advise on bankability issues of the Project and lead lender-side inputs into the Project Agreements which now forms the basis for future IPPs in a key emerging market.
Clifford Capital at the World Bank – Singapore Infrastructure Finance Summit
Clifford Capital was pleased to support the World Bank – Singapore Infrastructure Finance Summit this week as a Silver Sponsor. The summit, which was centered on the topic of “Finding New Ways to Mobilise Private Capital in Southeast Asia”, was organized jointly by the Financial Times, World Bank Group, Ministry of Finance of Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It boasted heavyweight guests of honour and speakers including Singapore’s Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat, Finance Ministers from various Asean countries, multilateral development banks and major project finance lenders such as DBS, Standard Chartered, SMBC and Clifford Capital.
Clifford Capital’s CEO, Clive Kerner, was a panellist in the opening panel discussion on Mobilising Private Capital – New Approaches and Structures, where he introduced Clifford Capital as a commercially-run non-bank financial institution which supports Singapore-based companies in their overseas projects. By providing financing to these projects, Clifford Capital helps to catalyse the mobilisation of private infrastructure financing in the region. Clive cited the examples of Clifford Capital working alongside other multilateral development banks and financial institutions to finance the Sirajganj IPP project in Bangladesh which achieved the longest tenor for commercial loans banked in Bangladesh to date, and also the precedent-setting Myingyan IPP transaction which became the first internationally banked power project in Myanmar.
Clive also spoke about the other part of Clifford Capital’s remit which is support Singapore’s aspirations to be an infrastructure financing hub for the region, and in particular its keen interest in boosting the use of capital markets for the infrastructure sector.
One key topic of interest on the panel was that of capital recycling and capital market take-outs as part of efforts to create Asian infrastructure debt as a new asset class. In the light of evolving capital constraints such as the phasing in of Basel III regulations, Clive shared on the panel examples of potential structures by which capital can be recycled – for instance, the pooling of assets and addition of credit enhancement through a first-loss tranche as a means of achieving investment grade ratings for such pools and thereby broadening the universe of prospective institutional investors. He noted however, that key challenges remained for Asia including the lack of standardization of loan assets as well as transferability of the underlying loans.
The lively discussions at the summit showed a clear commitment on the part of ASEAN governments in attracting private capital for sustainable infrastructure development in the region. The strong turnout, which included numerous attendees from the private sector including developers, banks, investors as well as various development financial institutions, provided evidence that the private sector was equally keen to help turn this aspiration to reality.
Sembcorp’s Sirajganj-4 Project is awarded Asia Pacific Power Deal of the Year 2017 by IJGlobal
Clifford Capital is pleased to announce that Sembcorp’s 414MW (net) Sirajganj-4 Independent Power Project (IPP) has been named by IJGlobal as the winner of the Asia-Pacific Power Deal of the Year 2017.
The Sirajganj-4 IPP is a significant milestone in the development of the energy sector in the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Designed as one of the most efficient power plants in the country, the plant will allow Bangladesh to efficiently utilize its diminishing domestic gas resources to underpin the country’s rapid industrial and economic development. The Project is also testament to the continuously improving climate for foreign investment in the country, being the first project undertaken by an international investor under the country’s robust public-private partnership model. The Project is also the culmination of strengthening relationships between Singapore and Bangladesh across the public and private sectors, being the largest foreign direct investment by a Singaporean company into the energy sector in Bangladesh.
Clifford Capital played a key role in the financing of this project as an Initial Mandated Lead Arranger and as the Lenders’ Modelling Bank. We were responsible for financial analysis underpinning lenders’ credit submissions, model audit and other related processes. In addition, Clifford Capital worked closely with the other co-lenders, IFC and CDC, to drive all key due-diligence workstreams of the project.
Clifford Capital prices US$300 million 10-year public bond offering at 3.38%
Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd. (“Clifford Capital”), a specialist provider of project and structured finance solutions in support of Singapore-based companies in the infrastructure and maritime sectors, priced its US$300 million 10-year public bond offering yesterday.
The 10-year US$300 million bond offers a coupon of 3.38% p.a. with a March 7, 2028 maturity and has an issue price of 100%. This equates to a spread of 49 basis points over the 2.75% US Treasury due February 2028. This issuance is underpinned by an unconditional and irrevocable guarantee from the Government of Singapore and is expected to be assigned the highest issue rating of AAA by Standard & Poor’s. Citibank, DBS, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank acted as the Joint Lead Managers for the transaction.
Following this transaction, Clifford Capital has now raised a total of US$1.19 billion since the establishment of its US$1.35 billion Euro Medium Term Note (“EMTN”) programme from both public issuances and private placements.
Mr. Clive Kerner, Chief Executive Officer of Clifford Capital, said: “This new issue marks the return of Clifford Capital to the public markets with a benchmark bond offering for investors looking for long tenor investment opportunities. We are very pleased with the overwhelming support from a high quality global investor base. We would like to thank our banks as well as our investors for their continuing support of Clifford Capital. The proceeds will be used to fund the ongoing growth of the Company.”
|Issuer||:||Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd.|
|Guarantor||:||The Government of Singapore (Aaa / AAA / AAA) (Moody’s/S&P/Fitch)|
|Issue Rating||:||AAA (S&P)|
|Format||:||Reg S Registered, off US$1.35bn EMTN Programme|
|Issue Size||:||US$ 300 million|
|Settlement Date||:||7 March 2018|
|Maturity Date||:||7 March 2028|
|Governing Law||:||Notes are governed by English law, Guarantee is governed by Singapore law|
|Lead Manager||:||Citibank, DBS Bank Ltd., HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank|
For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms Catherine Lee
Chief Financial Officer
Leading Singapore Inc into Bangladesh – Project Finance International (PFI) Yearbook 2018
The development of the Sirajganj-4 Power Plant (S4) is a significant milestone in the development of the energy sector in Bangladesh. S4 is a dual-fuel gas and high-speed diesel electricity generation facility with 414MW (net) power capacity, located in the Sirajganj district of Bangladesh. The Project is a joint-venture between Sembcorp Utilities Pte Ltd (Sembcorp), a leading Singapore-based developer, owner and operator of energy and water assets globally, and North-West Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL), a leading state-owned power generating utility in Bangladesh.
The Project represents the largest foreign direct investment by a Singapore company into the energy sector in the country. It is also the first project with an international investor under the auspices of the Bangladesh Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. In addition, the Project is notable for its pathfinder financing structure and the lender mix, as Sembcorp successfully long-term commercial project debt financing from lenders other than development financing institutions (DFIs) for an independent power project in Bangladesh for the first time.
In this article published by Project Finance International (PFI) in their 2018 yearbook, Audra Low, Head of Origination and Structuring, Marat Zapparov, Senior Director and Ted Low, Associate Director from Clifford Capital together with the team from Sembcorp share the key features of the project, the main challenges faced by the project teams and outline the salient features of the financing structure that enabled the Project to proceed.
IPP Standard for Myanmar – Project Finance International (PFI) Yearbook 2018
Myanmar has emerged as one of the more promising opportunities in ASEAN for the development and financing of power projects and the Myingyan Independent Power Project (IPP) is currently the most significant project in the market.
The Myingyan IPP is the first in Myanmar that has been tendered in a competitive market internationally and sets the template for other IPPs to follow in the country, a new frontier market. Crafting a bankable structure in a territory that did not have a comprehensive power framework is one of the toughest challenges investors can face and the sponsors and their advisers and lenders did just that. The project is a strong credential for Singapore Inc – backed by a Singapore-based sponsor, undertaken by a consortium of Singaporean construction contractors, financed in significant part by Singapore-based commercial lenders and supported by several key Singapore-based advisers
Marat Zapparov, Senior Director and Ted Low, Associate Director from Clifford Capital together with Sembcorp Utilities Pte Ltd and Mayer Brown JSM provide their insights in this article that was published in the Project Finance International Yearbook 2018.
Sembcorp’s Myingyan IPP is awarded Asia Pacific Power Deal of the Year 2017 by Project Finance International
Sembcorp’s 225MW Myingyan Independent Power Project (IPP) has been named by Project Finance International (PFI) as the winner of the Asia-Pacific Power Deal of the Year 2017. As the first competitively tendered and internationally financed IPP in Myanmar, Myingyan sets the benchmark for future power projects in the country. This is also a ground-breaking project in view of its long-dated US dollar project financing from key multilaterals such as ADB, IFC and the AIIB, as well as a number of Singapore-based financial institutions including Clifford Capital.
Clifford Capital had played a key role in the financing of this project as the Lenders’ Documentation Bank – working with Sembcorp from an early stage to coordinate the development of the financing structure and financing term sheet, advise on bankability issues of the Project and lead lender-side inputs into the Project Agreements which now forms the basis for future IPPs in a key emerging market.
For more details please refer to the award citation from PFI.
Supporting Teekay Tankers In US$270 Million Refinancing For Fleet Acquired Under Its Merger With Tanker Investments Ltd
Clifford Capital has closed its second financing for Teekay Tankers as part of a group comprising largely Nordic banks in a US$270 million Senior Secured Revolving Credit Facility to refinance a fleet of 14 crude and product tankers. The vessels are part of a fleet of 18 tankers acquired following a merger between Teekay Tankers and Tanker Investments Ltd (“TIL”), which closed in November 2017.
Teekay Tankers has material presence in Singapore through subsidiaries with over 100 employees operating in Singapore. Teekay Tankers is part of the larger Teekay Group, which is one of the world’s largest marine energy transportation, storage and production companies.
This transaction underscores Clifford Capital’s goal in supporting Singapore’s role as an International Maritime Centre and in encouraging international maritime companies to establish and grow their operations in Singapore.
Clifford Capital supports Sembcorp and ADWEA in their landmark project bond issuance for the Fujairah 1 Independent Water and Power Plant
Clifford Capital is a cornerstone investor in the Fujairah 1 IWPP USD400m project bond issue maturing in 2035, which closed in December 2017 alongside a USD713m bank loan refinancing.
The electricity generation and seawater desalination plant is ultimately jointly owned by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority and the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (60%) and Sembcorp Utilities Pte Ltd (40%). The plant has been operating since 2004 and in 2015 a new Reverse Osmosis desalination plant was completed bringing its total power and desalination capacity to 760MW and 130MIGD respectively. A subsidiary of Sembcorp Utilities is operator of the plant, which has shown high reliability and strong performance since operations commenced.
The Project generates revenues pursuant to a long-term contract with an Abu Dhabi government owned entity. The strength of the Sponsors the Operators and the consistently strong operating performance have resulted in the transaction being awarded a high A2 / A- credit rating by Moody's and S&P respectively.
This transaction is testament to the strong institutional investor appetite for long dated project financing, providing an attractive alternative source of debt capital for developers for projects that have a successful operational track record.
“We are pleased to have had the opportunity to support Sembcorp Utilities and its partner ADWEA in a capital markets take-out for the Fujairah 1 project. Such transactions, in our view, help expand on the sources of capital available for infrastructure development globally which is positive for the industry as a whole,” said Clive Kerner, CEO of Clifford Capital.
Clifford Capital provides senior and mezzanine financing in timely support of the Buss Global-led acquisition of a portfolio of containers from Magellan Maritime Services GmbH
Clifford Capital has together with a number of international banks provided a US$153.8 million Senior Secured Term Loan Facility to finance the Buss Global-led acquisition of a portfolio of containers from Magellan Maritime Services GmbH. In addition, Clifford Capital has also helped bridge the financing with a preferred equity investment in Marine Container Management Limited Partnership (“MCMLP”), the acquisition and investment vehicle.
The financing is secured by the portfolio of containers which will be managed by Textainer Group Holdings Limited, one of the world’s largest lessors of intermodal containers who has managed intermodal containers Buss Global’s affiliated entities for over ten years.
MCMLP is an affiliate of the Buss Global Group, one of the largest independent owners and managers of marine containers with an established and significant presence in Singapore.
This transaction represents Clifford Capital’s first mezzanine investment, and is also the first time Clifford Capital is both a senior as well as a mezzanine lender in a project, demonstrating its unique value add for eligible Singapore-based companies. This is Clifford Capita’s second transaction with the Buss Global Group, following the first senior term loan financing in 2016.
IE Singapore brings together 6 Singapore companies to establish partnership for KL-SG High Speed Rail
Six Singapore companies, brought together by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, announced their intention to partner each other on 2 July 2017, with plans to team up with international players to jointly participate in high speed rail projects starting with the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR). The companies involved are Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd., DBS, Sembcorp Design & Construction, SMRT International Pte Ltd, Surbana Jurong Private Limited and Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited (ST Electronics).
The KL-SG HSR is a strategic project between the Governments of Singapore and Malaysia that aims to facilitate seamless travel between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, enhance business linkages and bring the peoples of both countries closer together. The 350km rail line is targeted to be operational by end 2026.
In view of the project’s significance and potential, IE Singapore has brought together the companies in line with its role to help Singapore companies capture global opportunities. The partnership leverages unique strengths of each company, enabling them to expand into the high speed rail segment. Together, their solutions cover the entire value chain of financing, design, construction, system integration, operations and maintenance. The companies plan to partner international players to jointly participate in the KL-SG HSR.
Please read the Joint Media Release here
Increase in Euro Medium Term Note Programme Limit from US$1 Billion to US$1.35 Billion with effect from 1 July 2017
On 12 May 2017, Clifford Capital updated and upsized its Euro Medium Term Note Programme (“EMTN Programme”) from US$1billion to US$1.35billion. The new programme limit will take effect from 1 July 2017. The updated Offering Circular has been filed with the Singapore Exchange. The EMTN Programme is guaranteed by the Government of Singapore and has been rated AAA by the Standard & Poor’s Rating Services. Net proceeds from the programme will be used for general corporate purposes.
Infrastructure identified as a key thrust in the Committee on the Future Economy Report
The Committee on the Future Economy (“CFE”) was convened in January 2016 to develop economic strategies for Singapore for the next decade, building on the work done by the Economic Strategies Committee in 2010. Over 9,000 stakeholders, including trade associations, public agencies, unions, companies, executives, workers, academics, educators and students were consulted in this process, with Clifford Capital counting amongst the participants. On 9 February 2017, the CFE unveiled its recommendations in a report which was released to the public.
A key recommendation made by the CFE was for the Government to catalyse the private sector to provide more growth capital for Singapore companies seeking to expand overseas. Clifford Capital was formed with support from the Government in 2012 to address market gaps in cross-border project financing following the recommendation of the CFE’s predecessor, the Economic Strategies Committee in 2009. The CFE recommended that “Where there are clear gaps in market financing – for example, for project financing in emerging markets – the Government can develop new forms of support for the private financing of Singapore companies, while ensuring that risk decisions remain in the hands of the private sector. We can build on the role of Clifford Capital.”1
The CFE also identified urban solutions and infrastructure as one of six key industry clusters that Singapore should focus on as Singapore companies have existing capabilities and a competitive advantage in this area. To enable Singapore companies to better position themselves for growth in the infrastructure sector, the CFE made several recommendations, including:
- bridging the gap in political and credit risk coverage in emerging markets with infrastructure demand;
- enhancing the project preparation capabilities of Singapore-based companies;
- grooming local infrastructure talent through Government supported manpower programmes; and
- facilitating access for SMEs to non-recourse project financing.
With these measures, Singapore companies would be well placed to tap into the strong demand growth for urban solutions and infrastructure in developing Asia. Clifford Capital is continuing to engage with Government on the development of these initiatives.
Read the full CFE report here.
1 CFE Report Executive Summary, paragraph 36, page 8. See also paragraph 102d on page 31.
Clifford Capital finances Sembcorp’s power plant project in Bangladesh
Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd. (“Clifford Capital”), the Singapore-based specialist provider of structured finance solutions, is pleased to announce the signing of the Project Financing Agreements in relation to the development, construction and operation of a 426-megawatt gas-fired power plant in the Sirajganj district of People's Republic of Bangladesh (“Bangladesh”) under a public-private partnership (the “Project”). This build-own-operate project was awarded to Sembcorp’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Sembcorp Utilities, by the Government of Bangladesh in September 2015.
The Project is financed with USD-denominated senior secured term loan facilities, provided by Clifford Capital, alongside with financing partners International Financing Corporation (“IFC”) and Commonwealth Development Corporation (“CDC”). Clifford Capital structured and executed a competitive and innovative combination of fixed and floating rate loans benefitting from credit-enhancements from IFC and a Partial Risk Guarantee from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (“MIGA”).
The Project is the first green-field project financing concluded between Clifford Capital and Sembcorp. Clifford Capital worked closely with Sembcorp from the early development stages of the Project through the award of the Project by the Government of Bangladesh, culminating in the execution of the financing agreements. The transaction is central to Clifford Capital’s mandate of supporting Singapore-based companies in their overseas investments by providing competitive cross border financing solutions to address structural gaps in the long-dated project financing market, particularly in the emerging markets.
As the longest tenor commercial project financing loan achieved to date in Bangladesh, Clifford Capital’s financing sets a benchmark for commercial lenders’ participation in the country’s ambitious infrastructure development plans.
Clive Kerner, Chief Executive Officer, Clifford Capital said: “Clifford Capital is delighted to support Sembcorp Utilities, a top-tier Singapore-based utilities infrastructure developer, in the company’s ambitious expansion plans overseas, through the provision of financing for Sembcorp’s first power plant development in Bangladesh. The financing demonstrates our commitment to our Singapore clients and to our vision of being the “go-to” financier for Singapore companies growing their business overseas in the infrastructure sector. The execution of the financing agreements is also testament to our ability to structure and execute innovative financings, leveraging on our deep and broad relationships with Development Financing Institutions including IFC, CDC and MIGA.”
Tang Kin Fei, Group President & CEO, Sembcorp said: “With strong support from Clifford Capital and other key lenders and stakeholders through the development and financing stages of the Project, Sembcorp has strengthened our commitment towards supporting Bangladesh’s vision for continued growth and development. The timely execution of financing agreements bears testament to the strong relationship that exists between our institutions.”
Project details and background:
Sembcorp North-West Power Company, a joint venture between Sembcorp Utilities and Bangladesh's state owned North-West Power Generation Company, is developing a 426- megawatt gas-fired power plant in the Sirajganj district of Bangladesh. Expected to be completed in 2018, the plant will supply power to the grid under a 22.5-year power purchase agreement with the Bangladesh Power Development Board.
Sembcorp, through its subsidiary Sembcorp Utilities, will own a 71% stake in the Project while North-West Power Generation Company will own 29%. The Project represents the first foothold for Sembcorp in Bangladesh and establishes a platform for Sembcorp to grow its utilities and other businesses in the country. The Project is the first public-private partnership project with a foreign investor in the power sector in Bangladesh.
The plant, fuelled primarily by natural gas with ability to operate on high speed diesel as backup fuel, will provide clean and reliable power supply to the grid. The Project will contribute to the alleviation of power generation capacity shortages in Bangladesh, thereby underpinning the country’s continuous rapid economic development for the benefit of its people.
Singapore-based container owner and manager Buss Global secures financing from Clifford Capital for GCA 2016
Clifford Capital has provided a US$260 million senior secured term loan facility for Global Container Assets 2016 Limited (“GCA 2016”) together with a number of international lenders. The financing is secured by a portfolio of container boxes that are managed by a diversified group of highly experienced container leasing managers including Textainer, Seacube, Dong Fang and Raffles Lease, a subsidiary of Buss Global.
GCA 2016 is jointly owned by Buss Global Holdings Pte Ltd and the Buss Container International 4 partnership, both of which are part of Buss Global, a Singapore-based group specializing in the investment and management of container boxes. Buss Global, through various entities under its umbrella, are amongst the first to be given the Maritime Sector Incentive – Maritime Leasing (MSI-ML) Award by the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore which encourages entities to use Singapore as their capital and funding base to finance their vessels or sea containers and promote the growth of Singapore as an international maritime centre.
Greenko successfully places US$500 million 4.785% senior notes due 2023 with Clifford Capital as a cornerstone investor
Clifford Capital is a cornerstone investor in the US$500 million seven-year Reg S/144A Senior Secured Green bond offering for Greenko Investment II Limited. Greenko will use the proceeds of this bond financing to refinance rupee-denominated project finance loans of a 403MW portfolio of operational and near operational wind and hydro projects. This bond, which has a B+ credit rating from S&P and Fitch, is the first corporate Green bond issuance from India.
Greenko is a leading independent owner and operator of clean energy projects in India. Its portfolio of assets includes 35 operational hydro, wind and biomass projects with a combined installed capacity in excess of 1 GW. GIC Singapore owns 72% of the company alongside the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the founders of the company.
This transaction demonstrates how Clifford Capital, through its specialized knowledge of the infrastructure sector, is able to provide support to companies seeking to raise funds in the capital markets. In addition to this financing, Clifford Capital’s sister company Pierfront Capital has also provided a US$33 million term loan facility to Greenko Ventures in support of the promoters’ of the company, demonstrating the collective ability of both companies to provide complementary financing solutions to help companies grow their businesses.
PSA International secures financing from Clifford Capital for the expansion of the Rodman container port in Panama
Clifford Capital acted as Sole Structuring Mandated Lead Arranger on a Senior Secured Term Loan Facility for PSA Panama International Terminal (“PPIT”) to finance its expansion of the Rodman port located at the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. Construction for this expansion project has commenced with completion expected in 2017/2018.
PPIT, a subsidiary of PSA International, has been operational since 2010 with an annual capacity of 450,000 TEU. PPIT is embarking on an expansion at an estimated cost of US$450 million to increase its capacity to 2 million TEUs annually with state-of-the-art capabilities to serve large container vessels of up to 18,000 TEU. This project is a highly strategic project for PSA International as it expands its footprint in the Americas and seeks to capture the additional opportunities that may come about with the expansion of the Panama Canal.
“This transaction is our second financing in support of PSA International’s overseas projects and it has once again given us the opportunity to demonstrate our value add for Singapore companies as they expand further afield in regions where their primary relationship banks are less active,” said Clive Kerner, CEO of Clifford Capital.
Clifford Capital closes its first ship finance transaction with Teekay Tankers
Clifford Capital has participated alongside a number of international banks in a US$894 million Senior Secured Term Loan and Revolving Credit Facility for Teekay Tankers to refinance its fleet of 36 crude and product tankers. This financing enables the company to consolidate its existing bank facilities and extend the maturity following the company's recent acquisition of 12 tankers from Principal Maritime.
Teekay Tankers is the world's largest integrated operator of medium sized crude oil tankers, and is part of the larger Teekay Corporation, which has had significant presence in Singapore for the past 30 years across various business functions.
“Clifford Capital is pleased to have been a part of Teekay Tankers' foray into the Asian financing market. Our financing is aimed at demonstrating support for the company as it plans to expand its business operations in Singapore,” said Clive Kerner, CEO of Clifford Capital.
Hyflux successfully closes a US$185 million non-recourse project financing for the Qurayyat IWP in Oman with Clifford Capital as an Initial Mandated Lead Arranger
Clifford Capital is pleased to announce the signing of the financing agreements for the US$185 million Senior Secured Term Loan Facility for Qurayyat Independent Water Project (“Qurayyat IWP”) developed by Hyflux Limited in Oman.
Qurayyat IWP is a reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant located in Qurayyat in the Sultanate of Oman. Under the Water Purchase Agreement, desalinated water from this project will be supplied to Oman Power and Water Procurement Company SAOC for a period of 20 years, from 2017 to 2037. This will add another 200,000 cubic metres per day of drinking water to the country’s water supply.
The Qurayyat IWP is a significant win for Hyflux as the first project undertaken as a lead sponsor in the Middle East. The financing has also provided an opportunity for Clifford Capital to demonstrate its ability to provide differentiated financing solutions that can help Singapore companies win projects in highly competitive bid situations. In this financing, Clifford Capital has structured an innovative and competitive fixed-to-floating rate loan, to be provided on a pari passu basis alongside the more conventional floating rate loans provided by Standard Chartered Bank and Mizuho Bank.
“We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Hyflux on this project. Through our understanding of the Middle East project finance market and the close collaboration with Hyflux from an early stage of the bidding process, we have been able to develop what we believe to be a highly competitive financing package to help Hyflux secure the project,“ said Clive Kerner, CEO of Clifford Capital.
This financing has won the “Best Water Deal” in the 2015 Project Finance Awards by EMEA Finance.
Clifford Capital closes a financing for Keppel JV, Seafox 5
Clifford Capital acted as Mandated Lead Arranger on a US$100mn Dual-Currency Senior Secured Term Loan Facility for Seafox 5 to finance a service and accommodation liftboat constructed at Keppel Fels shipyard in Singapore.
Seafox 5 is a 75/25 joint venture between Keppel Offshore & Marine and Seafox. Utilising a Keppel FELS proprietary design, Seafox 5 is capable of offshore wind turbine installations and can also support a wide range of related activities such as accommodation, well intervention, maintenance, construction and decommissioning for the offshore oil and gas industry.
Teekay Offshore secures debt financing for the Gina Krog FSO which is to be converted at Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore
Clifford Capital has together with a number of international lenders provided a US$230 million Senior Secured Term Loan Facility for Teekay Offshore to finance the Gina Krog Floating Storage and Offloading unit (“FSO”). The FSO is converted at Sembmarine’s Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore from an existing shuttle tanker from the Teekay fleet. When completed, the FSO will be deployed in the Gina Krog oil and gas field in the North Sea under a three-year contract with Statoil.
BW Gas and Pavilion Energy successfully closes a US$360 million non-recourse financing for two newbuild LNG carriers
Clifford Capital acted as Mandated Lead Arranger and provided a US$60 million fixed rate senior secured term loan as part of a US$360m financing package to BW Pavilion LNG to fund the acquisition of two Singapore-flagged new-build LNG carriers, BW Pavilion Vanda and BW Pavilion Leeara. BW Pavilion LNG is a joint venture between BW Gas and Pavilion Energy formed with a view to provide LNG shipping capabilities to support the supply of LNG to regional gas demand centres in Asia.
BW Group is a leading Singapore-based global maritime group with a fleet of over 140 vessels ranging from oil tankers, LNG and LPG carriers, chemical tankers and floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) units. Pavilion Energy is a Temasek Portfolio Company with a vision to be a global LNG player in Asia. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pavilion Gas manages gas operations in Singapore and is also involved in the distribution and trading of LNG in the region.
“We are pleased to have supported two key clients in this transaction both of which have substantial presence in Singapore. Through our financing we hope to contribute to Pavilion Energy’s vision of establishing Singapore as an LNG trading hub,” said Clive Kerner, CEO of Clifford Capital.
This transaction has been awarded the “2015 Project Financing Deal of the Year – East” by Marine Money, a leading ship finance trade publication, for a number of notable features, including a sizable 44% balloon at maturity and a structured cash flow waterfall that accommodated a 6-9 month gap between two separate charters.
SBM Offshore and its partners signs a US$1.45 billion project financing for FPSO Cidade de Marica
Clifford Capital acted as Bookrunning Mandated Lead Arranger on a US$1.45 billion Senior Secured Term Loan Facility to finance the Cidade de Marica floating production storage and offloading vessel ("FPSO") that will be deployed under a 20 year charter agreement with Petróleo Brasileiro S.A (“Petrobras”) in Brazil.
Clifford Capital provided a meaningful commitment based on the value of the supply contracts from a number of Singapore-based companies including Dyna-Mac Holdings Ltd which had supplied the topside modules for the FPSO.
SBM Offshore is an industry leading provider of floating production solutions to the offshore energy industry, with its main focus on the design, supply, installation, operation and the life extension of FPSO vessels. The FPSO is owned by a consortium that includes SBM Offshore, Mitsubishi, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and QGOG Constellation.
Clifford Capital Successfully Issues Maiden US$300 million 5-Year Fixed Rate Note at 1.625%
Clifford Capital (or the “Issuer”) successfully issued US$300 million 5-Year fixed rate notes (the “Notes”) yesterday. The Notes represent the maiden issuance from the US$1 billion Euro Medium-Term Note (“EMTN”) Programme which was established by the Issuer on 5th February 2013. With an unconditional and irrevocable guarantee from the Government of Singapore for the EMTN programme, the Notes have been assigned the highest rating of AAA by Standard & Poor’s.
Mr Clive Kerner, Chief Executive Officer of Clifford Capital, said “We are pleased to have successfully completed our maiden note issuance which will diversify our funding sources. Also the Notes represent the initial step in establishing a new pricing benchmark for Clifford Capital”. With a maturity date of 5th November 2018 and a fixed interest rate of 1.625% per annum, the Notes are priced at a spread of 53bps above the current 5-Year United States Treasuries. The issuer appointed Standard Chartered Bank, DBS Bank Ltd. and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited as the Lead Bookrunners of the EMTN Programme. Proceeds of the issuance will be deployed towards general corporate purposes.
Clifford Capital Invests US$79.5 million in the Inaugural US$450 million Bond Offering by Mersin International Port in Turkey
Clifford Capital, a specialist finance company set up to assist Singapore-based companies in their overseas ventures, has just concluded its first major transaction in the infrastructure sector with a US$79.5 million investment in the US$450 million bond offering by Mersin International Port (“MIP”).
MIP is a 50:50 joint venture between Singapore’s PSA International, one of the world’s largest global port operators, and Akfen Holding, one of the leading infrastructure investment holding companies in Turkey. MIP is the operator of Mersin Port, the largest port in Turkey in terms of tonnage and also import and export container throughput based on the latest published statistics in 2012. The 7-year senior unsecured bond, which has been provisionally rated Investment Grade by both Moody's (Baa3) and Fitch (BBB-), is aimed at refinancing an existing project finance term loan that had been put in place when PSA International and Akfen Holding first secured the concession of Mersin Port in 2007. This transaction represents the first globally placed infrastructure bond issuance from a Turkish issuer, establishing a new source of financing for infrastructure projects in Turkey. “We are very pleased to have successfully closed the inaugural bond offering of Mersin. Clifford Capital has provided us with firm and consistent support from a very early stage, and their role as one of our anchor investors has given us the confidence to launch the bond offering notwithstanding the volatility in the capital markets,” said Mr Ismail Hakkı Tas, Managing Director of MIP. Clive Kerner, CEO of Clifford Capital said: “We are very happy to have supported MIP in its inaugural bond issuance given its strategic importance to PSA International. PSA is an important client for us and we look forward to playing a meaningful role in the growth of their international port network. This is in line with our objectives and demonstrates our commitment in assisting Singapore companies in their overseas investments. We want to be part of the story to help Singapore companies succeed in overseas markets.”
The investment also marks a key milestone for Clifford Capital since its official launch in November 2012 as its first transaction supporting a Singapore-based sponsor. Clifford Capital has successfully closed two primary transactions to date, with the first being a senior loan financing of a floating, production, storage and offloading vessel in Brazil provided in support of a Singapore-based contractor supplying topside modules to the project. In addition, Clifford Capital is at an advanced stage of finalising the acquisition of a portfolio of existing project finance loans as part of a one-off exercise designed to provide the company with a revenue base and diversification of assets. Clifford Capital has a global remit, focusing on providing a competitive source of financing for projects and assets that feature ownership from or goods and services supplied by Singapore-based companies.
Clifford Capital to capture project finance opportunities with official launch of operations
Clifford Capital, a specialist finance company providing products and solutions for the project and structured asset-backed finance markets, officially launched its operations today. Held at Clifford Pier, the opening ceremony witnessed an address from guest of honour, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam. “Clifford Capital was established to address structural gaps in Singapore’s cross-border financing landscape initially identified by the Economic Strategies Committee. Along with commercial banks and multilateral agencies, Singapore now has the necessary eco-system in place to help our local corporates bid for large, long-tenor projects overseas without being constrained by the current volatile economic environment”, said DPM Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
With the recent unpredictability in the financial markets and proposed stricter Basel III requirements due to be imposed on banks, corporates worldwide are finding it increasingly challenging to obtain longer tenor loans from banks and financial institutions to finance their investments in infrastructure projects. Clifford Capital addresses this issue by providing tailored project finance products and solutions specifically in support of Singapore-based companies engaged in overseas projects. “Singapore is home to many companies that have the ability to successfully expand into overseas markets, but have not been able to reach their full potential due to current funding gaps. Focusing on sectors in which Singapore companies have competitive strengths, such as infrastructure, particularly power, waste and water treatment and transport; as well as offshore marine, Clifford Capital aims to act as a catalyst for these companies to capture business opportunities around the world.”, shared Clifford Capital’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Clive Kerner following the launch of his company. For more information, please visit: http://cliffordcap.sg/
Clifford Capital is backed by a strong consortium of shareholders including Temasek, DBS, Standard Chartered, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, Manulife and Prudential. It is able to leverage upon their expertise, networks and resources as needed and, given that Clifford Capital will be operating as an open platform, will also seek to partner with other banks and financial institutions to deliver financing solutions to Singapore clients as they take the next step in their growth. Its flexible financing solutions will primarily consist of long term senior debt to cross border projects, but can also be extended into investments in mezzanine debt and, on a more selective basis, equity. Another unique aspect of Clifford Capital is the guarantee provided by the Singapore Government on debt instruments issued by Clifford Capital. This allows the company to raise funds competitively, enabling it to offer financing terms which will help its clients to compete internationally. This government support and strong backing from reputable stakeholders has helped Clifford Capital attain the highest AAA rating by Standard & Poors for its US$1 billion Euro Medium-Term Note Programme, expected to be launched in Q1 2013. “With the Asian Development Bank estimating close to US$8.3 trillion worth of infrastructure investment within Asia alone over the next decade, we are seeing unprecedented opportunities for companies with the necessary expertise. Clifford Capital is expected to provide about US$400 million of financing to qualifying projects annually. This will in turn catalyse an additional US$2 to US$3 billion of financing, supporting the ability of globally competitive Singapore-based enterprises to tap into these opportunities on a worldwide basis”, added Mr. Kerner.
Clifford Capital Appoints Clive Kerner as CEO
The Ministry of Finance announced in February this year the setting up of a project finance company to plug gaps in project financing for large, long-term crossborder projects. The newly established project finance company has been incorporated as Clifford Capital Pte Ltd, and has appointed Clive Kerner as CEO as the company prepares to start operations in the last quarter of this year. The Chairman of Clifford Capital, Mr Kai Nargolwala, commented that, “We are fortunate to have attracted someone of Clive’s calibre. He brings more than 25 years of emerging markets debt financing experience to Clifford Capital including substantial experience in Asia”. Until recently Mr Kerner was CEO of Linq Asia Capital AG, a specialist finance company focused on high yield credit and mezzanine credit investing in South East Asia. Prior to that, he spent 20 years in banking, working on project and infrastructure finance in Asia. Mr Kerner said, “Our objective is to address market gaps in project and structured asset-backed finance. We will initially focus on longer term financing in support of Singapore-based companies engaged in projects in emerging markets such as Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Our target sectors are infrastructure, particularly power, waste and water treatment and transport; as well as offshore and marine. These are sectors in which Singapore companies have competitive strengths,” he added.
The announcement by the Ministry of Finance in February also mentioned that a consortium led by Temasek, DBS Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation was working together to establish the project finance company. Since then, two additional investors, Prudential Singapore and Manulife Financial Corporation, through its unit John Hancock, have joined the Temasek-led consortium as shareholders of Clifford Capital. Clifford Capital will be run on a commercial basis. It will work with other financial institutions to develop the market for cross-border project finance, for example through co-financing deals. It expects to provide about S$400 million of financing annually once it builds up its operations and market presence, which could in turn catalyse an additional S$2 to S$3 billion of financing. This will support the growth of globally competitive Singapore-based enterprises. The company will receive government support to ensure its viability. In particular, the Government of Singapore will guarantee the debt instruments issued by Clifford Capital. This guarantee will allow Clifford Capital to raise funds competitively. It can thereby also offer terms to Singapore-based companies that will help them compete internationally on a more equal footing.