Norton Rose Fulbright advises TIPTOP Energy Limited and Sinopec Century Bright Capital Investment Limited on US$3.5 billion loan

The Hong Kong office of global legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright advised TIPTOP Energy Limited (TIPTOP) and Sinopec Century Bright Capital Investment Limited (Century Bright) on a US$3.5 billion five-year syndicated term loan facility. The loan was guaranteed by China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group).

TIPTOP is an asset holding company and the major upstream investment arm of Sinopec Group. TIPTOP is wholly-owned by Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation, which is the wholly-owned sole offshore upstream investment platform of Sinopec Group.

Century Bright is wholly-owned by Sinopec Group and serves as the platform for offshore settlement, financing, FX transaction, cash management and fund monitoring for Sinopec.

Sinopec Group is one of the largest state-owned petroleum and petrochemical enterprise groups in China. It is under the direct ownership and supervision of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, the PRC. Sinopec Group was ranked as the number one Chinese enterprise. It is also China’s second largest crude oil producer.

China Construction Bank Corporation, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Citi, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and United Overseas Bank Limited acted as the mandated lead arrangers, bookrunners and underwriters to the loan.

The deal was geographically well-distributed, with a total of seventeen banks joining the deal from Asia, North America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. Catering to the strong market demand, the deal was upsized 40 per cent to US$ 3.5 billion from the original launch size of US$2.5 billion.

David Barzilai, banking partner in the Hong Kong office of Norton Rose Fulbright commented:

“We worked on behalf of Sinopec Century Bright and TIPTOP on a very tight timeframe.  We are pleased to see the broader Asian syndicated loan market react so positively, which is consistent with the general upturn in the bilateral and syndicated loan market we have witnessed over the last few months.”

The transaction was led in Hong Kong by partner Davide Barzilai and associate Rick Wei. Allen and Overy advised the lenders.

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