Emmerson appoints mandated lead arrangers for Morocco project financing



Aim-listed Emmerson has appointed a syndicate of international and Moroccan banks as initial mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) to coordinate and fund dual-tranche debt financing facilities for the development of the company’s Khemisset potash project, in Morocco.

The four MLAs selected are ING Bank, Banque Centrale Populaire, Bank of Africa (Groupe BMCE) and an unnamed European bank.

ING Bank is mandated to act as an export credit agency (ECA) coordinator and documentation bank.

Based on current discussions, the $310-million dual-tranche project financing will be split between an ECA-covered tranche led by UK Export Finance of $230-million and a dual currency (dollar and Moroccan Dirham) commercial tranche of $80-million.

“We are delighted to have received strong demand for the project financing from both lenders and ECAs, and our selection of MLAs with significant international and domestic expertise in natural resources project financing reflects the quality of the Khemisset project, Morocco as an investment jurisdiction, and market recognition of the critical importance of potash in the context of international food security.

“The appointment of the MLAs represents an important milestone in the company’s progress towards establishing Africa‘s first commercial potash mine for nearly 50 years,” comments CEO Graham Clarke.

Sender International and Colosseum Development (Morocco) are advising Emmerson on the debt financing for the project, working alongside Tamesis Partners as the company’s financial adviser for the financing of the project.

Emmerson has also appointed Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman as legal counsel in respect of the debt financing.