The Banker Magazine Deal of the Year 2013 - Africa

Infrastructure and project finance 

Winner: $191m financing of district hospitals for the Ghanaian government 

Mandated lead arrangers: Barclays, Citi, JPMorgan 

Highly commended: Olam Palm Gabon CFA franc 54bn and E85m deal; Egyptian Refining Company $2.6bn facility 

This year’s infrastructure and project finance winner for Africa was an innovative deal backing the design, construction and equipping of seven district hospitals in Ghana as well as the provision of a centralised pharmaceutical and medical supply management system. The government of Ghana obtained a UK Exports Credits Guarantee Department-backed 12.5-year loan of $162.6m, provided by Citi and JPMorgan, and an uncovered Cedi-denominated loan equivalent to $28.8m that was provided by Barclays Ghana. 

The funding, which was signed in October, was completed quickly by the standards of infrastructure deals in Africa, closing eight months after it had been mandated. 

The transaction was impressive not only for being carried out swiftly (deals of this nature often take well over a year to complete) but because it helped disprove the notion that social development deals need to have development agencies on board if they are to pass smoothly. It also was an unusual deal because of the fact the contract for the construction was awarded to a mid-sized company, the UK’s NMS Infrastructure, thus showing that it is not just big firms that are capable of winning large export contracts on the continent. 

hugo besley