The $950 million financing for Southern Cross Cables Ltd closed last Friday, with arrangers ANZ Investment Bank and Barclays Capital anticipating up to 20 banks to confirm their participation upon the close of the deal. Southern Cross Cables will be using the proceeds to refinance the building of a telecommunications cable between Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
The deal is made at a time when deals for telecoms are, at best, unpopular, with bank books already heavily laden with telecoms debt. "There are very few oversubscribed Telco deals nowadays," says David Matthews, director of global loans, Asia for Barclay's Capital.
The two tranches of the deal are priced between 90bp and 140bp, with maturity terms of up to five years.
Matthews says the Southern Cross deal was oversubscribed because it was a tightly structured limited recourse project finance deal. Importantly, the now completed cable was low risk with a significant amount of pre-sales already done.