Cheniere Energy Inc., the first company to win approval to export natural gas from the continental U.S., plans to complete as much as $4 billion in financing for the project in the next few days.
“We’re working with our eight lead arrangers to secure the project financing and it will be announced in the next few days,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charif Souki said in a phone interview today.
Cheniere said on June 4 it expected to complete debt financing arrangements by the end of this month for the estimated $4.5 billion to $5 billion it needs to build liquefaction units at its Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana. The company hired JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and others in April to help arrange the funding.
“More than likely, they’ll get the debt financing done,” William Frohnhoefer, an analyst at BTIG LLC, said in a June 26 phone interview. “If they are late a few days, it won’t have a significant impact on their work schedule or costs.”
Investors have already “priced in” a possible delay and that’s reflected in the stock price, said Frohnhoefer, who rates the stock a buy. Cheniere rose 7.1 percent to $14.74 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 70 percent this year.
Korea Gas Corp., BG Group Plc, Gas Natural SDG SA and Gail India Ltd. have agreed to buy a combined 16 million tons a year from the Sabine Pass terminal, according to the company.
LNG is gas chilled to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 162 Celsius) so it can be transported by ship.