Breaking Travel News

Dnata Raises Changi Dollars

Dnata, the region’s biggest travel management
company, has signed its first-ever financing agreement through its fully
owned subsidiary Kedma Holdings Pte Ltd, raising Singapore dollars 140
million (approx. Dhs 315 million) to finance its acquisition of
Singapore-based Changi International Airport Services.CIAS is an integrated ground handling service provider at Singapore’s Changi
Airport. Dnata initially acquired a 78.4 per cent shareholding in CIAS from
Singapore based Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited in October 2004.
Subsequently, Dnata acquired the remaining 21.6 per cent and became sole
owner of CIAS. This move is in tandem with Dnata’s steady expansion of its
operations overseas, with the company already exporting its ground handling
expertise to airports in Pakistan, Iran, Sudan and the Philippines.

Gary Chapman, Emirates Group’s President Dnata and Associated Companies, the
Emirates Group, said: “This is a significant investment by Dnata and
reflects our belief that Singapore will continue to grow and prosper as a
major aviation hub in Asia. We are well advanced in working together to
maximize the many synergies between Dnata and CIAS, and exchange ideas on
best working practices.”


The acquisition financing, over a 10-year term, was lead arranged and funded
by Standard Chartered Bank, with DBS Bank, Overseas China Banking
Corporation (OCBC) and United Overseas Bank (UOB), all based in Singapore.
It carries a margin of 0.90 percent over a six month SOR (Singapore Dollar
Swap Offer Rate).



Ray Ferguson, Standard Chartered’s Chief Executive, UAE noted: “Standard
Chartered is very pleased to have worked closely with Dnata from the time of
acquisition of CIAS to lead arranging this landmark financing.”


Ferguson added: “With a strong presence in the Middle East and Asian
markets, the Bank is able to tap the international debt markets to provide
our clients with innovative financing structures best suited to their
financing requirements. We are delighted to arrange financing for this
transaction with the participation of major Singapore based banks.”


Riyaz Peermohamed, Emirates Group’s Senior Vice President Corporate
Treasury, said: “This is a landmark deal. It is both the first-ever
financing by Dnata and also the first time the Emirates Group has completed
a financing agreement in Singapore dollars.”


He added: “The deal was done in Singapore dollars to create a new source of
financing and a natural hedge, so that inflows from CIAS could be used to
satisfy the Singapore dollar obligations under the financing. We also took
advantage of the very low Singapore dollar interest rates.”