Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), as a sponsor, on the development and financing for the US$8 billion expansion of an existing, world-scale petroleum refining and petrochemicals complex in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia.
“These funds will enable our client, and its partners, to develop further one of the world’s largest refining and petrochemical complexes through a widespread expansion programme,” said White & Case partner Jason Kerr. “The cross-border deal team was able to utilise its extensive experience to successfully deliver this complex project financing.”
The Rabigh Refining and Petrochemicals Complex is owned by Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company – a joint venture of Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. that is publicly listed on the Saudi stock exchange.
On 26 February 2015, the parties executed financing documents, bringing in US$8 billion – US$5 billion in debt and US$3 billion in equity – of new funds to the integrated project. Financial close and effectiveness of the financing was achieved on 16 March 2015. Once the expansion project is complete, the US$18 billion combined facilities will form one of the largest refining and petrochemical complexes ever built.
White & Case advised Saudi Aramco on all aspects of this landmark transaction: project development, due diligence, commercial launch, negotiation and drafting of finance documents, signing, and financial close. A team of lawyers from offices across the Firm’s global network negotiated 150 sophisticated finance documents with around thirty financial institutions – commercial banks, Islamic finance banks, public investment funds and development funds and governmental export-credit agencies (including Japan Bank for International Cooperation – that are providing financing for the expansion.
The Firm also helped harmonize initial and new project documentation across categories of conventional, Islamic and developmental finance, advised the client on international and domestic changes that have altered the legal landscape and commercial context in the years since the initial project was built and provided counsel on commercial contracts and financial instruments relating to the expansion of independent facilities necessary to sustain the Rabigh complex.
The team of lawyers advising Saudi Aramco included Jason Kerr and Carina Radford in London; Wendell Maddrey, Jean Shimotake, Jason Webber and Clark Wohlferd in New York; Alex Malahias in Abu Dhabi; and Dr. Waleed Al-Nuwaiser, Doug Peel and Antoine Cousin in Riyadh.
Michael C. Smith, Ghassan Shawli, and Kevin Estis led Saudi Aramco’s internal legal team.
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