Global Trade Review Best Deals of 2012 Award

Borrower: Ghanaian government

Amount: US$162.2mn

Mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners: Barclays, Citi, JP Morgan

ECA: UK Export Finance

Law firms: Clifford Chance, Oxford & Beaumont

Tenor: 12.5 years

Date signed: 2 October, 2012

Last year, Ghana’s ministry of finance and economic planning signed a 12.5-year, US$162.6mn ECA-backed syndicated loan to finance the construction of seven district hospitals. Barclays acted as co-ordinating mandated lead arranger (MLA), bookrunner and agent, while Citi and JP Morgan acted as MLAs on the syndicated loan.

The loans will fund the design, construction and equipment of seven district hospitals including the provision of a centralised pharmaceutical and medical supply management system. In some instances, the hospital will be the first to be built in its district.

The transaction was struck at a transformative point in Ghana’s economic history. It is in the process of becoming a middle-income nation and as its growth story continues to be written, social infrastructure investment will become increasingly vital.

Barclays’ Head of Emerging Markets Capex Financing Solutions Ed Harkins explains: “Ghana is the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world; in 2011 it grew at 15% – almost double that of China. We’ve seen a big need in terms of financing and it’s all in the social infrastructure area.”

For Gabriel Buck, Global Head of Capex Financing Solutions, the transaction acts as a myth-breaker. He tells GTR: “It dispels the myth that it takes a long time to get anything done in Africa. From the time we were appointed to support the client to the stage at which the financing was being completed was a period of eight months.”to edit it.

hugo besley