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Report: Ma'aden enlists banks to help refinance US$1B loan for Alcoa JV

Saudi Arabian Mining Co., or Ma'aden, hired BNP Paribas and National Commercial Bank to help refinance about US$1 billion of bank debt raised for a subsidiary, Reuters wrote March 22, citing three banking sources.

Sources said the refinancing facility is expected at about US$1 billion, denominated in both Saudi Arabian riyals and U.S. dollars, though more details are yet to be finalized. The parties have been in talks over the matter for weeks.

The debt was raised for the company's 74.9%-owned Ma'aden Bauxite & Alumina Co. joint venture with Alcoa Inc., which owns the remaining 25.1% stake.

Ma'aden aims to complete the refinancing by the end of the second quarter, one of the sources added.

The cost of establishing the venture stood at about 13 billion riyals, with over 8 billion riyals arranged through debt financing in 2011, Reuters added.

As of March 22, US$1 was equivalent to 3.75 Saudi Arabian riyals.