White & Case instructed by banks on major Oman scheme

In a deal of significant political importance, White & Case has advised the banks on the financing of a fertiliser plant costing almost $1bn (£638m). It is the largest joint investment between the governments of India and Oman.
The deal took over five years to complete because key terms had to be restructured. A 1999 drop in oil prices hit the value of natural gas, a feedstock for fertilisers. This in turn deflated the price of the fertilisers.
Mark O'Neill, the Allen & Overy (A&O) banking partner who advised the Oman-India Fertiliser Company (Omifco), which is behind the project, said this “affected the viability of the plan as the reduction in revenue was not compensated by the reduction in costs”. The project was restructured to guarantee that the Indian government would pay a certain amount for the fertiliser.
The three lead arrangers – ABC International Bank, ANZ Investment Bank and BNP Paribas – which were joined by a syndicate of 19 banks, provided two-thirds ($649m (£414m)) of the funding; the remaining $320m (£204.1m) came from equity.