Lpc russias tenex nets $300 mln loan bankers

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May 1 Three European banks have committed extra capital to fulfill an accordion facility agreed as part of a $300 million pre-export loan financing signed with Russian nuclear firm Tekhsnabexport(Tenex) in January, banking sources said. Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale signed the three-year loan with Tenex in January with the aim of raising up to $300 million, according to three banking sources. The agreement comprised a $150 million term loan and a $150 million accordion feature paying 385 basis points (bps) over Libor, one of the bankers said. Nordea joined the banking group in March and committed $75 million to the facility, bringing it up to $225 million, two of the bankers said.

The three banks have now agreed to commit a further $25 million each in order to complete the $150 million accordion feature. Tenex approached a much larger group of banks in February last year for a $500 million new-money loan before Russia annexed Crimea in March, triggering the geo-political crisis between Russia and the Ukraine that has effectively closed the international loan market to Russian borrowers.

"This is the last of the deals that was already in progress when the crisis happened -- it does not count as a new deal," said one of the bankers. After a bank meeting in Moscow on September 1 last year to discuss the loan, a number of banks fell out of the deal after failing to get credit approval, but the small club of banks were confident the deal would be completed.

"Tenex supplies an irreplaceable fuel supply to Western Europe and the US -- there was no way this deal was not going to get done," a second banker said. Tenex exports nuclear materials and uranium enrichment services and is owned by Russian state backed nuclear power engineering firm Atomenergoprom, a Rosatom company. Rosatom was founded in 2007 by Russian president Vladimir Putin. Tenex could not be immediately reached for comment.