Ghana, the world’s second largest cocoa, has signed a new 3-year receivables-backed trade finance facility of US$300 million.
The country’s cocoa regulator, Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) will use the facility to refinance Cocoa Bills raised by Bank of Ghana on behalf of COCOBOD and/or to finance production enhancement programmes.
COCOBOD represents various interests of the Ghanaian cocoa industry. It was established in 1947 with the mission to facilitate the production, processing and marketing of good quality cocoa, coffee and shea nut.
To ensure sustainability of the cocoa economy in Ghana, COCOBOD continues to institute several strategies, projects and programmes that seek to ensure good agronomic practices to preserve the fragile tropical ecosystem, improve labour practices and conditions as well as the livelihoods of farmers including women and children.
In order to achieve greater strides in these objectives, COCOBOD has chosen to include environmental and social objectives in the credit agreement agreed with the Arranging Group.
This is aimed at promoting environmentally friendly cocoa production and Increasing sensitivity to child labour as well as Empowering women.
The facility will pay an initial margin of 295bps p.a. over USD LIBOR and will include a margin incentive mechanism subject to the achievement of the above-mentioned environmental & socials objectives.
The fully underwritten facility was arranged by Coöperatiev following e Rabobank U.A. (“Rabobank”), Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (“CACIB”), Natixis (“Natixis”), Societe Generale (“SG”), and MUFG Bank, Ltd. (“MUFG”), (together, the “Mandated Lead Arrangers” or “MLAs” or “Bookrunners” or “Underwriters”) and Ghana International Bank plc (“GHIB”, the “Mandated Lead Arranger” or “MLA”) (together with the MLAs and Bookrunners, the “Arranging Group”).
The Arranging Group was joined by DZ Bank and Nedbank as Mandated Lead Arrangers.
The transaction has been successfully closed a targeted syndication process.
Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive, COCOBOD said “Ghana Cocoa Board is pleased with the signing of this facility which will go a long way to help in carrying out its sustainability programmes in all cocoa regions to enhance the social and environmental sustainability of cocoa farming and also improve the livelihood of farmers.