CDP Group Recognised at the TXF Global Borrowers Summit

Three deals by CDP, SACE and SIMEST receive the "Perfect Deals 2016" award from the international finance magazine

Rome, 19 June 2017

Three awards for the CDP Group at the Global Borrowers Summit, the annual event promoted by industry magazine TXF, which covers the major international players in trade and export finance. An audience of over 700 experts and managers of banks, branches and companies was on hand to see recognition bestowed on the most important trade, project and export finance deals struck in 2016. CDP Group companies played a key role in three of the deals that received the "Perfect Deals 2016" award, which stood out for the complexity of their structures, the particular nature of the businesses concerned and the challenges posed by the scenario in which they operated.

The first perfect deal was the international project North Sea Link ("NSN Link"), in which SACE, SIMEST and a pool of international banks finalised export financing of $519 million for National Grid North America, a member of the National Grid Plc Group, the main manager of electricity and natural gas networks in the UK, in support of the work and goods ordered from Prysmian. The project, worth a total of €2 billion, involves the construction of a submarine power cable linking the United Kingdom and Norway with a capacity of 1,400 megawatts: at 730 kilometres in length, it will be the longest system of its kind in the world. The line of credit benefits from the involvement of two CDP Group companies now part of the Italian Hub for Exports and Internationalisation: it is 90% guaranteed by SACE and is supported by a contribution from SIMEST to stabilise the interest rate. This is the largest deal covered by export financing ever struck in this sector in Europe.

The second deal to be recognised involves the construction of the Liwa Plastic Industries Complex in Oman. The CDP Group provided an integrated system of financial instruments in support of the exportation of Italian technology. Within the framework of the project to be carried out by Orpic, an Omani state-company responsible for oil refineries and petrochemical plants, SACE provided a full guarantee for a line of credit of $840 million issued by CDP as Mandated Lead Arranger, providing a $189 million share of the financing, along with a pool of international banks, with the involvement of SIMEST to stabilise the interest rate. The financing is intended to support the supply contracts awarded by Orpic to Maire Tecnimont, and the sub-supply contracts will be entrusted to a number of Italian firms, above all SMEs, that produce oil and gas machinery.

The final member of the winning trio is the Virgin Voyages project, in which CDP (as mandated lead arranger together with Unicredit), SACE (as guarantor) and SIMEST (which intervened on the interest rate) supported the contract finalised by the U.S. cruise line and Fincantieri for the building of three ships, for a total investment of approximately $3,000 million. The Virgin Group, led by Sir Richard Branson, after Virgin's successes in air travel (Virgin Atlantic), finance (Virgin Money), mobile telephones (Virgin Mobile) and gyms/fitness (Virgin Active), conducted an in-depth analysis, with a team of top investors, of the cruise market, competitive scenario and possible special traits of its commercial offerings, and launched a full-fledged start-up to develop the Virgin brand in the global cruise industry.

To finance the initiative, Virgin and its main financial partner, Bain Capital, raised equity from a very small group of major sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and family offices. The awards for TXF for the Liwa Plastics and North Sea Link deals are in addition to those received in recent months from other authoritative international industry publications, such as Global Trade Review and Trade Finance Magazine