Export Trading secures US$120mn

Published: May 14, 2010

Banks approve new funds for Tanzanian agricultural supply chain specialist.

One of Africa’s largest integrated agricultural supply chains is to expand its operations after securing a multi-million dollar syndicated loan.

Export Trading will use the US$120mn to finance the trading of soft commodities in several African markets, such as Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda as well as India. It will also support economic growth and security.

The funding was led by Standard Chartered Bank, which was joined in the transaction by The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the OPEC Fund for International Development.

Anil Dua, Standard Chartered’s head of origination and client coverage, said the funding takes care of the Tanzanian-based group’s growing needs and described the deal as a “landmark” as it enables the business to fund both the export and import of commodities.

“We have been able to structure this deal together with IFC and OPEC, three quite different agencies, but they have all been able to come together for a common purpose,” he added.

The deal took around a year to close with Export Trading’s Katan Patel claiming that it took so long as the global financial markets were “at their worst” and needed a “fair bit of time and effort by all parties” to get it across the line. “We have been growing across Africa for many years and we see Africa as a new strong emerging market.”

Dua added: “The good thing about this transaction is that this is an indigenous local East African party which is trying to grow from a regional player into a more global player.”

Export Trading employs some 8,000 people and  specialises in numerous commodities, including sugar, maze and rice.