EBRD Leads Financing in Romania

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), ABN AMRO Bank N.V. and Bank Austria Creditanstalt AG co-arranged a $300 million syndicated loan to Romanian GSM operator MobiFon SA. The financing will partly refinance existing debt, as well as provide funds for the company’s ongoing expansion.

International commercial banks, led by ABN AMRO Bank and Bank Austria Creditanstalt, provided more than a third of the $300 million facility, which includes parallel $35 million loans from Export Development Canada (EDC) and Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), and $120 million in aggregate B loans from co-lenders including Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO), Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich, Citibank N.A., Nordea and International Finance Participation Trust. Vodafone Europe BV and Telesystem International Wireless Inc. were involved in the financing as major shareholders.

The financing was completed on August 27, 2002. The first tranche of the financing was disbursed September 17, 2002 and the second was disbursed on September 30, 2002. The financing was successful in syndication and was oversubscribed.

In-house lender counsel included Christoph Sicking for EBRD, Wayne Burrows for EDC and Ebbe Thalin for NIB. The lending syndicate was represented by McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto and London, with a team comprised of Brian Kelsall, Ella Plotkin, Christopher Langdon, Evgenia Ivanova and Colette Walker. Romanian law advice was provided by Cristiana Stoica, Valeriu Stoica, Radu Rizoiu and Razvan Dinca of Stoica & Associates in Bucharest for the lending syndicate, and Adina Chilim, Ion Nestor and Cristina Virtopeanu of Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen for MobiFon. Alistair MacRae and Owen Mullholand of Norton Rose in London advised MobiFon on English law matters.