October 4, 2017 / 5:23 PM / a year ago

AfDB delays vote on financing for Ivory Coast Airbus purchase

ABIDJAN, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The board of directors of the African Development Bank on Wednesday delayed a vote on a $296 million financing package for Ivory Coast national airline Air Cote d’Ivoire’s purchase of five new Airbus A320s, the bank said.

The board discussed the proposed deal, but bank officials said no vote was held and the project would continue to be studied.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that some board members questioned whether the loans fulfilled the AfDB’s development and poverty reduction mission. The deal’s structure, which would allow the Ivorian state to pass on a sovereign loan to the company, had also raised concerns.

According to an AfDB document seen by Reuters, the package includes a $60 million sovereign loan from the bank to the Ivorian state, which owns a 65 percent stake in the airline. The bank would also provide $55 million in non-sovereign loans and a $20 million partial risk guarantee.

Specialist bank Investec will contribute $30 million, with other commercial banks providing loans totalling $81.5 million.

Air Cote d’Ivoire will bring equity of over $50 million to the deal.

In addition to the Ivorian state, the airline’s other shareholders are Air France with a 20 percent stake and private Ivorian investor Goldenrod, which holds 15 percent. (Reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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