Majid Al Futtaim Raises $1 Billion Loan

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Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC (MAF), sole franchisee of Carrefour SA stores in the Middle East, raised $1 billion from a group of banks to refinance debt after delayed plans to sell bonds.

The financing comprises a three-year revolving credit and a five-year term loan, the Dubai-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. The facility will be used for early refinancing of a $1 billion loan maturing in July 2012 and to build a ?liquidity buffer,? the company said.

The loan ?has helped to lengthen the average maturity of our debt,??Daniele Vecchi, treasurer of MAF, said in the statement. ?To strengthen our financial profile further, we will continue to focus on diversifying our sources of funding and tapping the bond market continues to be a priority.?

MAF earlier this month delayed a plan to sell five-year bonds after price bids were below its expectations.

Barclays Plc, Credit Agricole SA,?Emirates NBD PJSC?and?Standard Chartered Plc?were the lead arrangers of the loan, Majid Al Futtaim said in the statement today. Union National Bank, Arab Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, Samba Financial Group, Mashreqbank PSC, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC, National Bank of Kuwait and AK Bank were also involved in the transaction.

Shopping Malls

MAF’s primary subsidiary is MAF Properties, which develops shopping malls across the Middle East and North?Africa, plans to invest $3.5 billion expanding in?Egypt,Lebanon,Syria and the United Arab Emirates. Its shopping mall in?Beirut?will be completed in October 2012 while a mall is under way in Cairo costing 2.8 billion dirhams ($762 million).

?he company posted a loss of 144 million dirhams in 2010 compared with a profit of 479 million dirhams in the preceding year. Long-term debt stood at 8.5 billion dirhams at the end of 2010, according to its bond prospectus.

Standard & Poor?s?assigned the company a rating of BBB, the second-lowest investment grade score.

Sources: Bloomberg, tradearabia

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