Saudia loan includes bridge facility

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Samba Financial Group says the SR7.2 billion ($1.9 billion) 26-aircraft debt deal signed last month with SkyTeam carrier Saudia includes an initial bridge facility.

The Saudi banking institution acted as arranger, facility agent and security agent in the transaction, while investment arm Samba Capital & Investment Management was the sole bookrunner and co-ordinator of the initial bridge facility.

The Jeddah-based carrier signed the debt transaction with a consortium of Saudi banks which, in addition to Samba Financial Group, included Banque Saudi Fransi and the National Commercial Bank.

The loan deal follows a February agreement under which Samba Capital & Investment Management agreed to act as the financial adviser and lead manager for the initial public offering of Saudia Cargo, which intends to list its shares on the Kingdom's stock exchange.

The transaction enabled Saudia to acquire 26 aircraft of different types, says Samba Financial Group. Eighteen of the units are yet to be delivered.

Saudia recently took delivery of a new Airbus A330-300, the last of a 12-aircraft order with the manufacturer.

The Middle Eastern carrier is scheduled to receive four Boeing 777-300ERs next year, followed by another four in 2016, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows. In 2017, the first three 787-9s are to arrive, followed by another four in 2018. The final 787-9 is due in early 2019.