Cnooc Parent’s $3 Billion Loan Attracts 11 Banks in Syndication

China National Offshore Oil Corp., parent of the nation’s biggest offshore energy explorer Cnooc Ltd., signed $3 billion of syndicated loans with 11 banks, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The company obtained $2 billion in a one-year term facility and $1 billion in a five-year term portion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. The deal was signed on Sept. 17, they said.

China National Offshore Oil completed the loan as the oil and gas producer seeks to raise even more debt. The company is considering selling U.S. dollar-denominated bonds and has hired banks to arrange meetings with investors in Europe and the U.S., a person familiar with the matter said last week.

Liu Xiaobiao, a Beijing-based spokesman for China National Offshore Oil, didn’t answer two phone calls to his office seeking comment on the loan today.

The lenders are Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., Bank of America Corp., Bank of China Ltd., Barclays Plc, China Construction Bank Corp., Citigroup Inc., Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, Mizuho Bank Ltd. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., the people said.

The loan’s one-year portion pays an all-in rate, which includes margins and fees, of about 80 basis points more than the London Interbank Offered Rate, and the five-year piece pays about 140 basis points over the benchmark, the people said.

The borrowing will be the 10th-biggest in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan this year. The largest syndicated facility signed so far in 2013 has been an $8 billion deal for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Cnooc in May sold $4 billion of bonds in the biggest dollar offering from Asia outside Japan in more than nine years. Proceeds partly repaid a one-year $6 billion bridge loan the company used to buy Canada’s Nexen Inc. That facility was the region’s third-largest so far since Dec. 31, making Cnooc Asia’s third-biggest borrower of bank debt overall this year outside Japan.

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