09/03/2009 - 09:34

Mirabela secures further $US40m

09/03/2009 - 09:34


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Mirabela Nickel will need to raise less equity after securing a further $US40 million towards its $US150 million debt facility.

Mirabela Nickel will need to raise less equity after securing a further $US40 million towards its $US150 million debt facility.

The nickel company said it has received a senior loan commitment from Baverische Hypo- und Vereinsbank HG, which will boost its total debt facility to $US190 million.

Other lenders include Credit Suisse, Barclays, West LB and Caterpillar Finance.

The debt facility is conditional on Mirabela raising $US95 million in equity, which together with the bank loan, is enough to bring the Santa Rita nickel project in Brazil into production.

Last week, the company said there was material uncertainty that it could raise the necessary equity, which could in turn affect its ability to continue operating.

Shares in Mirabela were up eight cents to $1.33 at 11:47 AEDT.



The announcement is below:



Mirabela Nickel Limited (TSX: MNB, ASX: MBN) is pleased to announce that Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank AG ("HVB") has acceded to the senior loan commitment letter (announced 4 March 2009) for an additional US$40m, increasing the senior loan commitment to a total facility of US$190m for the Santa Rita project.

Accordingly, the senior debt syndicate now comprises Credit Suisse, Barclays, West LB and HVB for US$40m each and Caterpillar Finance for US$30m. These commitments are credit approved by all lenders.

The funding will be provided by way of a 6.5 year term loan, with an approximately 2 year interest only period and semi‐annual principal payments thereafter. The interest rate will consist of the lenders weighted average cost of funds or LIBOR, plus a credit margin.

The lenders commitments to fund will not be subject to any further syndication prior to funding, but are conditional on Mirabela raising US$95m in additional equity (net of commissions), the signing of definitive loan documentation, and other conditions usual for such financings. The loan documentation will be based on amendment and restatement of the credit facility agreement signed by Mirabela, Credit Suisse and Barclays in September 2008 and is substantially agreed. Satisfaction of conditions precedent to this loan agreement is also well advanced.

Mirabela is pleased to have secured this additional banking commitment from HVB in an exceptionally difficult market for senior debt lending and base metals projects. This senior loan funding, combined with the required equity funding, will meet the Company's total funding requirements to complete construction of the Santa Rita project and bring it into production.



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