Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME), a London-based wholesale Shariah-compliant bank, yesterday announced the completion of a $50 million syndicated Ijara leasing facility for Al Ghadeer Marine Shipping LLC, a Dubai-based shipping company, to fund the acquisition of the 53,000DWT double-skinned bulk carrier, Sara V.
BLME advised and arranged the financing and four other institutions joined in syndication with Jordan International Bank acting as co-lead arranger.
BLME structured the transaction using a special purpose vehicle established in the Cayman Islands, which acted as the Mudarib in the transaction and holds beneficial title to the vessel. The bank's Shariah Supervisory Board acted as Shariah advisor on the transaction.
The facility is the first international syndicated debt financing raised by Al Ghadeer to fund its expansion and acquisition programme and the vessel is the largest acquisition by Al Ghadeer to date.
"The transaction was well received and supported during syndication by both Islamic and conventional banks and we are pleased to have been entrusted with this mandate by Al Ghadeer," said Rodney Ballard, director of corporate banking at BLME, who negotiated and arranged the financing.
"BLME has shown its commitment to us and we hope to develop a more meaningful relationship given the range of Shariah-compliant products it is able to deliver", said Hamdi M Ajlan, Chairman of Al Ghadeer.
Humphrey Percy, CEO of BLME, said the move would improve BLME's image in the Middle East as a strong provider of Shariah-compliant finance.
"This substantiates our belief in the growth and diversity of the Shariah-based funding that BLME is now able to deliver and demonstrates our increasing ability to lead and arrange Shariah-compliant financing to support the growing relationships we are developing in the Middle East, Europe and the US," Percy said.