Mozambique contracts Calyon/BPI banking syndicate to pay debt to Portugal

23 May 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 23 May – A banking syndicate made up of France’s Calyon and Portugal’s BPI will organize a loan to pay off the US$750 million debt Mozambique owes Portugal for the change in the shareholder structure of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam (HCB).

In a statement issued in Maputo, the Energy Ministry, representing the Mozambican state, said that “the Calyon/BPI consortium is responsible for structuring and supplying the necessary funds for Mozambique to pay the Portuguese state the amount agreed for Mozambique to take an 85-percent share in HCB.”

The Mozambican government mandated the Calyon/BPI syndicate after an international consultation process launched in February, in which 4 banking groups took part.

The other candidates were the consortia of the Standard Bank with Rand Merchant Bank, DBSA, Millennium BCP, ABSA Capital, Investec, Nedbank, Millennium BIM, Banco Austral and BMI, as well as BNP Paribas with Deutsche Bank and, individually, Morgan Stanley.

Calyon, the investment bank of the Crédit Agricole group, and BPI, which is already present in Mozambique via a 30-percent stake in BCI Fomento bank, will immediately begin working on structuring and putting together the operation “in order to fulfil the deadlines outlines, which state the funds must be used by the end of December 2007.”

Under the terms of the deal signed last November, Mozambique will own 85 percent of shares in HCB and Portugal the remaining 15 percent.

Portugal will receive US$950 million in the deal, of which US$250 million were paid on signing the agreement and the remaining US$750 million in a second payment. (macauhub)