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Soco secures lender support for future acquisitions

Soco International, a London-listed oil and gas exploration and production company, has signed a new $125 million reserve based lending (RBL) facility.

Soco said on Monday that the facility was secured against the group’s producing assets in Vietnam.

In addition to the committed $125 million, a further $125 million is available on an uncommitted “accordion” basis. An accordion feature is an option a company can buy that gives it the right to increase its line of credit or similar type of liability with a lender.

The company added that the lending facility has a five-year term and matures in September 2023.

“The proceeds of the RBL will be available for general corporate purposes including for funding acquisitions in line with the group’s strategic growth plan,” Soco said.

The facility was arranged and underwritten by BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank.

Evercore acted as financial adviser to the company while Clifford Chance was the Soco’s legal adviser. Herbert Smith Freehills advised the banks.

Ed Story, president and CEO, said: “We are pleased to have concluded this financing transaction and to have received such strong interest in the bank market and firm support from our new lenders.

“The combination of existing cash, the new credit facility and the cash flow from our producing assets in Vietnam ensures that we are funded to take advantage of acquisition opportunities in line with our strategy of creating a full-cycle E&P company with a diversified portfolio.”

Vietnam assets

Soco holds interests in three working interests in two fields and is a designated operator of two blocks off Vietnam.

The company holds a 30.5% working interest in the Te Giac Trang Field in Block 16-1, operated by the Hoang Long Joint Operating Company. The block is located in the shallow water Cuu Long Basin, offshore southern Vietnam.

Soco also holds a 25% working interest in the Ca Ngu Vang field in Block 9-2, operated by the Hoan Vu Joint Operating Company. Block 9-2 is located in the same basin as Block 16-1.

As far as the operated blocks are concerned, Soco has a 70% operating interest in blocks 125 & 126, located in the moderate to deepwater Phu Khanh Basin offshore central Vietnam.

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