Australia roadshows A$1.84 billion infrastructure loan

The senior notes for RiverCity Motorway are being offered to Asian banks at three ticket levels.
At a roadshow in Hong Kong today, Asian institutions are being offered a slice of the A$1.84 billion ($1.38 billion) senior note facility underpinning the construction of the North South Bypass Tunnel in Brisbane.

The loan, for the construction company RiverCity Motorway, has been arranged and underwritten by five banks that are now conducting a general syndication of the notes with allocations expected to be made by the end of September.

Banks in Australia attended a presentation in Sydney last week, while Asian banks are being given the chance to review the offer and ask questions this week. The underwriters û ABN AMRO, Calyon, HSBC, National Australia Bank and WestLB û expect plenty of interest to come from Asian institutions.

The loan is made up of two components û a A$1.34 billion construction facility and a A$503 million council works facility, both with a maturity date of 50 months from financial close.

Once construction is completed in 2010, the council works component will be repaid, while the construction component will convert into a term note consisting of a A$668 million 8-year tranche and a A$668 million 10-year tranche.

The underwriters are seeking commitments at three ticket levels with allocations split on a pro-rata basis between the construction and the council works facilities. The three ticket levels are being classified as arranger, co-arranger and lead managers.

Arrangers must commit A$150 million and above and will receive an ôestablishment feeö of 80bps for the construction component and 50bps for the council works facility. Co-arrangers must commit between A$100 million and A$150 million for fees of 60bps and 30bps respectively, while lead managers are required to commit between A$50 million and A$100 million to receive 45bps and 25bps.

The RiverCity Motorway group is building a five-kilometre tunnel under the Brisbane River allowing commuters to bypass the central business district. It is QueenslandÆs largest ever PPP project and its first privately operated toll road.

The group listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in early August raising A$691 million from equity investors. Units in the company were offered to investors at a fixed price of A$1.00 each. On Wednesday they closed at A$0.42 each.
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