November 07, 2007 16:47 ET

Grupo Schahin Closes USD 800 Million Limited-Recourse Project Financing for Two New Semi-Submersible Drilling Platforms in Brazil

WestLB Acts as Administrative Agent and Bookrunner, Joint Lead Arranger and Joint Bookrunner

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 7, 2007) - WestLB announced today that it acted as Administrative Agent and Bookrunner on a USD 800 million limited recourse project financing for the development, construction and operation of two new semi-submersible drilling platforms in water depths of 2,000 and 2,400, respectively, for Black Gold Drilling LLC. WestLB also acted as Joint Lead Arranger and Joint Bookrunner together with HVB, Mizuho and Standard Chartered Bank.

The financing consists of a 3.5 year construction phase and a 5-7 year operating phase, during which the facility will amortize via charter payments from Petrobras S.A. The financing was extremely well received by the market as evidenced by its significant oversubscription.

"This transaction is one of the largest project financings in the Brazilian oil and gas sector and represents strong liquidity coming from the project financing sector," said Claus Hertel, Executive Director, WestLB's Latin America Group.

The sponsor of the project is Grupo Schahin of Brazil, a company involved in oil & gas, real estate, infrastructure and financial services. Subsidiaries of Black Gold Drilling LLC have entered into two EPC contracts with Yantai Raffles Shipyard of Singapore for the construction of the platforms at its yard in Yantai, China. Simultaneously, two charter contracts for five and seven years, respectively have been entered into with Petrobras. Schahin has entered into service contracts with Petrobras to be the operator of the platforms for the same tenors as the charter contracts. Schahin will also provide the drilling equipment.

"There have been limited project financings in Latin America in the recent past," said Thomas Friebel, Head of Loan Syndication for WestLB Latin America. "This represents a new and significant source of funding for local companies that have strategies to compete internationally in oil and gas."

The transaction benefits both Brazil and China. For Brazil, the two platforms will be vital assets in developing the deepening importance of offshore oil and gas exploration and continued self-sufficiency in oil for the country. For China, the construction of these two assets will solidify the Chinese strategy of competing internationally in key sectors such as ship building.

About WestLB Capital Markets

WestLB develops sophisticated structured solutions through a team of highly experienced investment banking and capital markets professionals. WestLB has a long-standing presence in the corporate, structured and asset-backed financing sectors supporting clients' needs with capital commitments, advisory services and innovative financing solutions. The bank's global relationships, coupled with its unique understanding of local economies, industries and cultures, help WestLB bankers consistently deliver high quality advice and service.

About WestLB

WestLB AG is one of Germany's leading financial services providers and offers the full range of products and services of a universal bank, focusing on lending, structured finance, capital market and private equity products, private banking, asset management, transaction services and real estate finance. WestLB has total assets of EUR 295.9 billion, as of August 30, 2007. For more information, please visit

In the United States, certain securities, trading, brokerage and advisory services are provided by WestLB's wholly owned subsidiary WestLB Securities Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member of the NASD and SIPC.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    WestLB AG - Group Communications - Americas

    Ashweeta Durani
    Ph: 212-852-6310
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    Connie J. Kain
    Ph: 212-597-1439
    Email Contact