Gulf Drilling International Announces the Closing of a US$430 million (QR1.57 Billion) Credit Facility

Doha, 22 May 2011 – Gulf Drilling International Limited (Q.S.C.) (GDI) announced today that it has closed a new US$430 million (QR 1.57 billion) credit facility with a syndicate of three banks. The Mandated Lead Arrangers of the credit facility are Qatar National Bank S.A.Q. (QNB) , Samba Financial Group (Samba), and International Bank of Qatar Q.S.C (IBQ)  while QNB is also the Facility Agent and Security Agent.
The new credit facility, which has a term of ten years and four months, will be used to finance a projected US$538 million (QR1.96 billion) business expansion plan that includes the construction of two new build hi-spec premium jack-up rigs and two new land rigs and the acquisition of a jack-up accommodation barge. In combination with its existing fleet, which includes five jack-up rigs and four land rigs all operating in the State of Qatar, GDI is set to become the dominant drilling contractor in Qatar. The jack-up accommodation barge will also mark GDI’s first entry into the accommodation barge market.

Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Chairman of GDI said: “These new investments will nearly double the value of GDI’s existing assets. This will help GDI pursue its strategic plans, to increase its share of the Qatar drilling market and to diversify into complimentary lines of business. It is encouraging to see such a strong participation coming from Qatari and GCC banks, as supporting our local banks is a priority.  I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank QNB for their continued support and cooperation in this and previous deals”. 

Mr. Ibrahim J. Al-Othman, Chief Executive Officer of GDI said: “GDI is pleased to have assembled such a strong banking group, which underscores the strength of GDI’s financial backing. GDI is grateful to have QNB serve as the Facility Agent and Security Agent as they are most familiar with our operations, having served in similar capacities for two other syndicated loans and are the sole provider of two additional loans to GDI. At the same time, GDI welcomes the addition of two new banks, Samba and IBQ, who have not had prior relations with GDI, but have targeted GDI as a worthy client for their portfolio.

Mr. Ali Shareef Al Emadi, QNB Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “I would like to express our pleasure to have been mandated to arrange this three bank club facility, which is in line with our objectives to support business development and growth in the country and the region. QNB is honoured to be the Facility Agent and Security Agent and to act as one of the Mandated Lead Arrangers in successfully arranging this milestone transaction for GDI.  We have a long relationship with GDI and are continuously in favour of supporting the expansion of their line of business and the achievement of their strategic plans”.   

George Nasra, Managing Director of IBQ said: “We believe that GDI’s expansion plans will provide critical infrastructure for the further development of the oil and gas industry in Qatar. Financing such strategic development plans is a key component of our strategy, particularly with the expected surge of developments in the country. We are proud to support such a successful company as GDI, which has a proven track record as a market leader in its field. Our participation in this consortium of banks underlines our strong commitment to be a notable partner in the growth plans of Qatar today.”  

Mr. Nader Gadourah, General Manager of Samba Qatar said: “We are pleased to have been mandated to arrange this three bank club facility for a premier Qatari enterprise such as GDI which is in keeping with Samba’s strategy for growth in, and enhanced commitment, to Qatar and the wider region. As Mandated Lead Arranger, this is a landmark transaction marking a first step for Samba in what we hope will be a long lasting relationship with GDI. We wish GDI every success in the roll out of their expansion plan”. 

About Gulf Drilling International Limited (Q.S.C.):
GDI is a world class drilling service provider offering safe, efficient and innovative drilling services. On May 18, 2004 GDI, was established as the first onshore and offshore oil and gas drilling company in Qatar. GDI was formed as a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum (QP 60%), Qatar’s national oil corporation, and Japan Drilling Co., Ltd. (JDC 40%), a Japanese drilling company with more than 40 years of offshore experience. The paid-up capital was US$ 103.2 Million at the time of incorporation.
In July 2007, QP acquired another 25% of JDC shares raising their ownership in GDI to 70%. On 12th February 2008, the shares of QP were transferred to Gulf International Services (Q.S.C.) (GIS) which became a public shareholding company on 26th May 2008 and is listed on the Qatar Exchange. GIS now holds 70% of the shares of GDI.
GDI is a growth-oriented company. GDI’s rig fleet has grown to nine rigs and its workforce to 830 employees. It currently operates a fleet consisting of five offshore jack-up rigs and four land rigs. 

About QNB:
Qatar National Bank (QNB), established in 1964 as the country’s first Qatari-owned commercial bank, has an ownership structure split between the Qatar Investment Authority (50%) and the private sector (50%). 
QNB has steadily grown to be among the largest banks in the region and is by far the leading financial institution in the country, with a market share approaching 45% of banking sector assets. 
QNB has the largest distribution network in Qatar, comprising 60 branches and offices in addition to more than 185 ATMs. 
QNB has witnessed rapid international expansion in the past few years and has established presence in over 24 countries worldwide including branches in France, Kuwait, London, Mauritania, Oman, Singapore, Yemen and soon Lebanon. 
QNB is among the highest rated regional banks from leading credit rating agencies including Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch, and Capital Intelligence. The Bank has also been the recipient of many awards from leading international specialized financial publications. 
QNB has an active community support program and sponsors various social, educational, and sporting events

About The International Bank of Qatar (IBQ): 

The International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) is a well established and rapidly growing commercial institution, offering a full range of retail, private and corporate banking solutions. IBQ has a strong commitment to build long-lasting relationships with its customers and provide them with excellent customer service with a focus on making banking simple, convenient and tailored to their needs. IBQ is one of the oldest existing banks in Qatar and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006. It has a growing network of 14 branches and service centres, and 34 ATMs in strategic locations throughout Qatar. 

In June 2009, IBQ was recognised as "the fastest moving bank" in the Middle East and North Africa region and the 26th fastest mover globally in The Banker magazine's Top 1,000 World Bank survey 2009. This commitment to customer relationships and best practice is reflected in the numerous awards won by the bank, including “Best Customer Service” award in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 from Banker Middle East Magazine.

IBQ is 30% owned and managed by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest bank in Kuwait and the highest rated in the Middle East. IBQ is a growing bank that benefits from an international network as a result of its affiliation with NBK which gives its customers access to greater resources and a wide range of international services. 

About Samba Financial Group:
Samba was established in 1980 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and is one of the leading financial services groups in the Middle East, providing world class services that meet the financial needs of its private, corporate and institutional customers in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Kingdom, UAE, and Pakistan.
The Bank’s world class corporate and investment banking offerings have also been recognized by clients and industry leaders, as a result of proven superior advisory and arranging capabilities across equity & debt capital markets, M&A, corporate advisory, project finance, structured finance and loan syndications, combined with the Bank’s unmatched placement capabilities and unrivalled access to investors in KSA and the region.  
Within the project finance arena, Samba has been actively involved in almost all landmark transactions concluded in Saudi Arabia advising across a wide variety of sectors, including power, telecommunications and petrochemicals projects.

The Group’s financial strength, currently rated Aa3 (Moody’s), A+ (S&P), A+ (Fitch) and AA- (Capital Intelligence) coupled with a commitment to its role in the development of the local and regional economy continue to build on the Bank’s position as preferred financial advisor to some of the region’s preeminent institutions. 

Samba’s commitment to delivering excellence have consistently resulted in broad international recognition through awards, and in 2011, Samba was presented with numerous awards including “Best Bank in Saudi Arabia”, which Samba has won for the past six consecutive years.