Dangote Group, Nigeria’s biggest listed company, has begun talks to raise a debut syndicated loan for $3.5 billion to fund fertiliser and oil refinery projects, two sources with knowledge of the situation said.
The seven-year loan for Nigeria’s biggest cement producer is split equally between Nigerian and international lenders via lead banks Guaranty Trust Bank, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered, the sources said.
International lenders are weighing up the risk associated with a relatively long-term jumbo loan for a debut Nigerian borrower.
Dangote’s position as a leading company in one of Africa’s more economically stable countries is expected to appeal to deal-hungry emerging market lenders who faced a shortage of such sizeable loans in 2012.
“If any international banks want to make a new play for Africa then this is the deal to join,” one of the sources said.
Dangote forecasts a 38 percent rise in net profit to 81.5 billion naira for the first quarter compared with a year earlier, it said in a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange in late December.