Listed bunker company Aegean Marine Petroleum has entered a memorandum of understanding with Mercuria Energy Group for a billion dollar refinancing and strategic partnership, says a company press release.
Aegean Chairman and independent director of the Board, Donald Moore, said, “As part of the announced strategic review, the new leadership at Aegean has, in short order, brought forward an opportunity to completely redefine and optimize the Company’s capital structure, enhance near term liquidity and position the Company for a dynamic partnership with one of the world’s largest privately held integrated energy and commodity groups. We are extremely pleased to enter into this Agreement with Mercuria and look forward to working with them on a broader relationship, for the benefit of our respective stakeholders.”
Added Moore, “Importantly, the Agreement provides for immediate credit support from Mercuria for the benefit of Aegean’s banks, customers, suppliers, and logistics providers, putting the strength of one of the world’s largest independent energy and commodity companies behind Aegean.”
“We look forward to further developing our relationship with Aegean and providing the flexibility to execute a strategy that enhances the Company’s operations and positions the Company for long-term success,” said Magid Shenouda, Mercuria’s Global Head of Trading.
Under the terms of the Agreement, Mercuria intends to provide a US$1 billion trade finance facility intended to support the Company’s existing U.S. and global revolving credit facilities.
Mercuria will also provide increased liquidity to Aegean of not less than US$30 million, adding flexibility to Aegean’s operations. Upon closing of the trade finance facility, the Company will issue new shares equal to 30% of its common stock (on a pro-forma basis) to Mercuria and will invite a representative of Mercuria to join the Company’s Board of Directors.
The Agreement also contemplates a potential broader strategic partnership between the Company and Mercuria, including operational services
, trading and hedging arrangements, and other support provided by Mercuria to Aegean.
Mercuria has the exclusive right to complete the trade finance facility by August 15, 2018, and to pursue the strategic partnership transaction until January 31, 2019, subject to specified exceptions and termination events. The transactions described above are subject to final documentation and regulatory analysis, and there can be no assurance this will be completed.
Moelis & Company is serving as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal advisor to Aegean with respect to the transaction. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is acting as legal counsel to Mercuria in connection with the transaction.