Irish Continental Group Agrees New Financing Deals

Ireland’s maritime transportation group Irish Continental Group (ICG) revealed it has concluded a new suite of financing agreements.

As explained, the deals have been inked after the group’s existing debt facilities matured.

These include a five-year multicurrency revolving credit facility provided by Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland, extendable by up to 2 years, comprising a committed EUR 75 million (around USD 89 million) drawing limit together with an additional uncommitted limit of EUR 50 million.

Another newly announced financing is a 12-year amortizing term loan provided by the European Investment Bank comprising a committed EUR 75 million drawing limit, available on delivery of the new vessel W.B. Yeats.

In addition, ICG informed about multicurrency private loan note shelf agreements with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Pricoa Capital Group comprising total uncommitted drawing limits of USD 275 million and tenors of up to 15 years.

The aforementioned facilities have been supplemented with an overdraft and guarantee facility of EUR 16 million provided by Allied Irish Banks.

On November 30, 2017, the group issued its first series of loan notes under the shelf agreements amounting to EUR 50 million on a seven-year bullet repayment term with a fixed coupon of 1.4% per annum. Following this issuance, the aggregate committed finance facilities amount to EUR 216 million, with uncommitted facilities of EUR 222 million approximately.

These facilities will be used to support the long-term investment opportunities available to the group the most imminent being the delivery of the cruise ferry W.B. Yeats in June 2018 when the remaining 80% of the EUR 144 million contracted cost of this ship is due to be paid.

Furthermore, the group said that Westpac Express, a high speed craft, has been redelivered to ICG.

The 2001-built ship was purchased by ICG for USD 13.25 million and delivered to the group in June 2016.

Since then, the vessel had been chartered to Sealift LLC. Under the terms of the 12-month charter agreement, the charterer had the option to further extend the charter. However, Westpac Express was redelivered to ICG at the end of November 2017.

“The vessel will undergo a refurbishment programme to bring it up to Irish Ferries passenger service standards,” ICG said.

The group added it is currently finalizing its fleet operational requirements for 2018 and a decision on whether to charter externally or deploy this vessel within the Irish Ferries services, in lieu of the existing vessel Jonathan Swift, will be announced in due course.