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Ilim Group Signs USD 500 Million Syndicated Loan

Ilim - paper production Ilim plans to use the funds to finance its strategic development projects focusing on Europe and Asia, which are its priority markets.

Nov. 28, 2017 - Ilim Group, Russia's leading pulp and paper company, announced on Nov. 27 that it signed a four-year unsecured syndicated loan agreement for USD 500 million. The agreement is the largest corporate debt transaction in the industry across Eastern Europe and Russia/CIS, according to Dealogic data.

The loan was arranged by Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI Group) and Intesa Sanpaolo, with Crédit Agricole also joining the syndicate on the European side. In Asia, the syndicated loan includes the four largest banks in China — Bank ICBC, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China and China Construction Bank — as well as Korea's KDB Bank. The split between European and Asian sides of the syndicate is approximately 50:50.

Ilim will use the funds to finance its strategic development projects focusing on Europe and Asia, which are its priority markets.

Ilim Group CEO Ksenia Sosnina said: “Our ability to raise such a substantial amount of funding for our industry is proof of the confidence that investors and the European and Asian financial communities have in us. 2017 is the company's landmark year and we are expecting strong operational and financial results. We are celebrating 25 years of Ilim, and 10 years of partnership with International Paper under our joint venture agreement. The fact that a Russian-American JV can achieve success and gain the trust of financial institutions in Europe and Asia is for me a striking example of business diplomacy and long-term strategy implementation, as well as the ability to pursue opportunities in a challenging environment.”

The deal was well received by the Asian and European member banks. The final amount raised significantly exceeded the target, indicating Ilim Group's credibility in these markets. The conditions of the loan agreement allow Ilim Group to increase the credit line up to USD 750 million.

Since Ilim's JV with IP was established in 2007, USD 3.2 billion has been invested in the investment projects, which include the construction of the world's largest bleached softwood pulp production line located in Siberia, and the launch of a modern paper making facility manufacturing high-quality white paper grades at the company's mill in European Russia. The JV has grown significantly in its 10-year history, with EBITDA increasing by 140% from USD 308 million in 2008 to USD 742 million in 2016, and output rising by 30% since 2008.

Ilim Group is the largest pulp and paper company in Russia. To learn more, please visit: www.ilimgroup.ru.

SOURCE: Ilim Group