DUBAI Feb 14 Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments
has begun talks with lenders about refinancing a $2
billion loan due to mature in May, three banking sources told
Reuters on Thursday.
The firm, which owns a stake in commodities trader Glencore
and is the largest shareholder in Italian bank
UniCredit, has sent out a request for proposals (RFP)
asking banks about options for renewing the existing facility.
Details about the structure of the new deal are still being
worked out, although one London-based banker hinted it could be
self-arranged by Aabar and have a similar structure to the
current deal. The three sources spoke on condition of anonymity
as the information is not public.
Aabar, a unit of Abu Dhabi sovereign fund International
Petroleum Investment Company, borrowed heavily to
build up holdings in a number of major companies, including
However, aside from participating in UniCredit's rights
issue and building a stake in Dubai-based builder Arabtec
, the firm kept a low profile in 2012, mirroring Abu
Dhabi's cautious investment strategy over the period.
Its chief financial officer and general counsel both left
the investment firm in the second half of last year, sources
told Reuters in November.
Aabar relinquished its Daimler stake in October to the banks
behind a March 2009 derivatives deal underpinning the purchase
after the investment firm failed to keep up its funding.
The existing $2 billion loan is split between a $1.4 billion
loan and a $600 million revolving credit facility and was agreed
in 2010. It paid a margin of 150 basis points over the London
interbank offered rate (Libor).
In total, 11 banks backed the deal, which was arranged by
Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, National Bank
of Abu Dhabi and Royal Bank of Scotland.
(Editing by Pravin Char)