BIL may lift loan facility

Sean Kennedy

BRIERLEY Investments Ltd (BIL) says its US$100 million loan facility has met an enthusiastic response from bankers and is likely to be increased to at least $130 million.

The company's Asia Holdings director, Stephen Temple, said the 31/2-year facility had been extended after banks sought time to consult their head offices.

He said the deal, which paid 65 basis points over the London interbank offered rate and a yield to top-level participants of 74.3 basis points, attracted a mix of banks, some Japanese.

Mr Temple said the deal might still be increased. 'If we get any more, we'd be very chuffed,' he said.

Proceeds from the facility, a transferable loan certificate facility, will be used for Brierley's general corporate funding requirements.

Brierley raised US$138 million at the end of last year in an almost identical transaction. The maturity of the new deal is longer.

Launched at the end of last month, the deal was underwritten by Commerzbank Southeast Asia, Citibank, Credit Suisse, SocGen Australia and WestLB Asia Pacific.

BIL Asia is the Asian arm of New Zealand's fourth biggest company, which has interests in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Britain.

Brierley has investments in London hotels group Mount Charlotte, and in Air New Zealand, and owns 50 per cent of New Zealand fishing group Sea Lord, which has 20 per cent of the nation's fisheries quotas.