Whitehaven Coal signs $1bn refinancing deal amid weaker coal prices

11 March 2015 (Last Updated March 11th, 2015 18:30)

Australian company Whitehaven Coal has secured a new A$1.4bn ($1bn) senior secured bank facility from a syndicate of Australian and international banks.

Whitehaven Coal

Australian company Whitehaven Coal has secured a new A$1.4bn ($1bn) senior secured bank facility from a syndicate of Australian and international banks.

The banks that provided the facility include ANZ, NAB, Westpac and the Bank of Tokyo.

The new facility will enable the company cut its interest costs and give it a breathing room to withstand weaker coal prices.

According to the company, the new facility is on terms favourable compared to the facility it will replace, resulting in a lower interest rate and increased headroom for Whitehaven.

"It demonstrates Whitehaven's improved creditworthiness and the increased confidence that lenders have in our growth plans and in our capacity to execute them ahead of expectations."

The facility with drawable line of credit of A$1.2bn ($918m) has a maturity date of July 2019 and will be used for general corporate purposes.

The facility is subject to completion of documentation, as well as the satisfaction of standard conditions precedent.

Whitehaven Coal managing director and CEO Paul Flynn said: "We are delighted with the support we have received for this flexible, low-cost facility.

"It demonstrates Whitehaven's improved creditworthiness and the increased confidence that lenders have in our growth plans and in our capacity to execute them ahead of expectations.

"Our goal is to become Australia's leading independent coal company. We are on track to achieve this with our world class assets, which we expect will continue to deliver further improved performance following a strong first half."


Image: The new $1bn facility will enable Whitehaven cut its interest costs. Photo: courtesy of Whitehaven Coal Limited.