Pemex taps alternative funding source in KKR loan
By Paul Kilby
NEW YORK, Feb 12 (IFR) - A US$1.35bn loan to finance KKR's purchase of Pemex assets could be the first of several such transactions as the Mexican state-owned oil company seeks to tap alternative funding sources.
The senior secured credit facility, expected to be launched at bank meetings in Mexico City next week, will consist of five-year tranches (a term loan and a revolver) as well as 10 and 12-year term loans.
Proceeds will go to fund the US private equity shop's sale-leaseback agreement to invest in 15 separate infrastructure assets, according to a source.
The assets are 11 pipelines, one set of subsea cables, 2 non-drilling platforms and one gas compression facility.
The transaction is seen as a way to quickly monetize Pemex's assets and may set a precedent for other private equity firms that have been looking to invest in Mexico following the passage of historic energy reforms in 2014.
Apart from KKR, BlackRock, First Reserve and Swiss-based private equity firm Partners Group have all announced investments in Mexico's energy sector, according to Reuters.
Under the agreement, Pemex sells the assets to KKR while continuing to operate and maintain them.
The oil company will effectively make lease payments to KKR during the 15-year life of the agreement, after which time it will buy back the assets.
The transaction is expected to carry features of straight corporate loans such as Pemex's guarantee on the leases, as well as project finance features such as a collateral account.
Credit Agricole, the sole bookrunner for the loans, will hold bank meetings in Mexico City on February 17 and New York on February 23, according to a source. (Reporting by Paul Kilby; Editing by Marc Carnegie)
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