OSN, the leading pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has successfully closed its first syndicated five-year financing facility for $200m. Mashreq, UAE’s leading financial institution, acted as the sole Mandated Lead Arranger, Bookrunner and Underwriter for this syndication.
The transaction received an overwhelming response from international and regional banks and was heavily oversubscribed. The participating banks include: Barclays Bank PLC, BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV, Citibank N.A., HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd, and National Bank of Kuwait SAK.
The proceeds of the facility will be utilised by OSN to further grow and strengthen its core business in line with the company’s objective to provide viewers with the ultimate entertainment experience.
A signing ceremony was held for the deal and attended by His Excellency AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, CEO Mashreq and Mr. Faisal Al Ayyar, Chairman of OSN and Vice Chairman of KIPCO, David Butorac, CEO of OSN and senior officials from the participating banks.
H.E. AbdulAziz Al Ghurair congratulated OSN on the success of the syndicated facility and the leadership position achieved in the regional pay-TV market. He said: “OSN has been a remarkable growth story, and Mashreq is indeed proud to be associated with one of the most successful businesses in the media sector in the region. In leading this syndication Mashreq has once again reinforced its leadership position in the loan syndication market and its established track-record in closing high-profile transactions in conjunction with global institutions.
Mr. Faisal Al Ayyar added: “The overwhelming response from the financial institutions to our first syndicated financing facility underlines OSN’s robust fundamentals and its tremendous growth potential. We are thankful to Mashreq for its work in managing this process and to the other banks for supporting this facility. Mashreq has been instrumental in OSN’s success story and has been playing an increasingly important role in the network’s strategic growth initiatives.”
Julio De Quesada, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking Group at Mashreq, said: “This successful transaction demonstrates the strong relationship that OSN has with its banking partners. With its sophisticated platform to provide services to cater to the diverse cultural and ethnic mix for both expatriates and GCC nationals, OSN is well positioned to remain a market leader and further grow and expand its foothold, leveraging the low penetration rates in the pay-TV industry in MENA.”
De Quesada explained: “Our partnership with OSN has been steadily growing over the years with Mashreq working closely with OSN on key initiatives to help consolidate its market position”. He appreciated the support from participating banks and added that the strong take-up reflects OSN’s growing standing in the financial community.”
David Butorac, Chief Executive Officer of OSN, added: “The pay-TV industry in the MENA region is fast-growing and has enormous growth potential. Given the changing preferences of television audiences who value premium and exclusive content that OSN is consistently focused on delivering, this potential is becoming increasingly tangible.
“The successful debut of our financing facility highlights the trust which financial institutions place in our competencies and prospects. This transaction strengthens OSN’s commitment to provide truly world-class television experiences for our subscribers, build long-term partnerships, expand our technological base and, in turn, add long-term value for our stakeholders.”
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