Uralkali Said to Hire Bank of America to Coordinate Loan Deal

OAO Uralkali, the largest potash producer by output, hired Bank of America Corp. to coordinate a five-year loan it’s seeking, according to three people with knowledge of the deal.

The size and interest rate of the facility will be set after it has been syndicated to banks, the people said, who asked not to be identified because the terms are private. Syndication is on a so-called club basis, an informal process that often includes the borrower, with five to 10 banks expected to participate in the deal, said the people.

The pre-export financing, where debt is backed by cash flows linked to the borrower’s export contracts, will sign by the end of March, the people said.

Uralkali is “constantly working” to help maintain its ratio of net debt to earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization to one to two times, the company’s Moscow-based spokeswoman Olga Ilyina said by e-mail. “A PXF is one of the options, but nothing detailed has been agreed so far,” she said.

Alex Parry, a spokeswoman for Bank of America in London, declined to comment about the financing.

The company borrowed $205 million from banks in August 2012 with a five-year loan paying an interest margin of 250 basis points more than benchmarks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.