Tallink Grupp signs €100 million loan agreement with KredEx ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

MS Megastar.
MS Megastar. Source: AS Tallink Grupp

AS Tallink Grupp on Monday notified the Tallinn and Helsinki Stock Exchanges (TSE, HSE) of the singing of a working capital loan agreement with SA KredEx for a €100 million loan with a maturity of three years.

The €100 million loan, which is secured by mortgages on five vessels ranking after existing creditors, can be drawn in €10-40 million tranches and has an interest rate of 12-month Euribor +2 percent, according to a Tallink press release.

In addition to the loan agreement signed with KredEx, an agreement reached with the company's lending partners regarding deferring existing loan repayments in 2020 in the amount of €61 million entered into force on May 29; the loans' final maturities and interest margins remained unchanged. The rescheduling of payments will significantly improve Tallink's liquidity position and provide more flexibility for Tallink to maintain sufficient working capital during challenging times, the company said.

"Signing the loan agreement with KredEx and reaching the agreement with our lenders regarding loan repayment deferral puts the company in a good position for continuing our operations during the economic crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic as well as for restoring our core operations this year," Tallink CEO Paavo Nõgene said.

"We are grateful to the Estonian government for their trust in us and for their support, and to our partner banks for continued good cooperation and their support during this challenging time," he continued. "In addition to these agreements, Tallink will continue to work hard to find additional solutions and opportunities as well, such as the agreement already reached with Danske Bank regarding an extended credit facility."

According to KredEx CEO Lehar Kütt, the key to successfully coming out of this crisis is cooperation between the state, financing providers and entrepreneurs.

"There is no doubt that the loan amount provided to Tallink Grupp by the state through KredEx is a large one, but it is in all of our interest that Estonian businesses survive this crisis as unscathed as possible and come out of it and carry on operating," Kütt said. "This will allow [the company] to maintain jobs and continue to bring in taxes for the state. By providing a loan to Tallink Grupp, the state is not only assisting one specific organization, but also the wider Estonian economy, as Tallink is a vital business partner for a number of Estonian businesses."

"Tallink is an important part of the Estonian export sector's transport infrastructure," said Artjom Sokolov, head of business banking at SB, one of Tallink's longer term financing partners and a member of the international bank syndicate. "The sustainability of Estonian economic growth depends on our export sector's ability to stay competitive. Therefore, SEB is happy to see that international syndicate banks financing the company are also supportive of the company during these challenging times and are confident in the company's long-term sustainability."

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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