Joint press release of the SIJ group and the NLB
Ljubljana, 4 May 2021 - The SIJ Group successfully concluded long-term financing in cooperation with Nova Ljubljanska banka d.d., Ljubljana (NLB). A path has been laid for a continued successful development of Slovenia’s biggest group in the steel industry.
An international consortium of five banks led by the NLB as the arranger and agent signed a long-term syndicated loan agreement worth EUR 148 million with two largest companies of the SIJ Group SIJ Acroni and SIJ Metal Ravne in order to refinance the existing syndicated loan in the amount of EUR 240 million that the companies raised in 2017. The loan under more favourable terms and conditions will also be intended for ensuring sufficient liquidity reserves in the future and for the long-term development related to investment projects. In line with the SIJ’s strategy until 2025, these are focused on increasing the efficiency of production, on environmental projects and on energy efficiency.
The syndicated loan was granted by a consortium of five banks, namely NLB as coordinator and agent, Nova KBM d.d., SID – Slovenska izvozna in razvojna banka, d.d., SKB banka d.d. and Bank GPB International S.A. Luxembourg. According to Jaka Tomažič, Director of Large Corporates, NLB: “NLB thus remains the principal partner bank of the SIJ Group which is one of major European business groups in the steel industry with leading market shares in the European Union and supplying niche steel markets.”
Igor Malevanov, Vice President and CFO of the SIJ Group said: “We are sincerely grateful for the banks’ trust in the business model of the SIJ Group in these uncertain coronavirus pandemic times and for their support of our operations. Together with the issued bonds and commercial papers, the new loan will ensure long-term financing and stability for both companies and the entire SIJ Group, which is essential for our growth and development in accordance with the strategy until 2025.”
Based on the needs and capacity of the SIJ Group as well as the situation on the capital markets, NLB organised several activities in the area of financing in the second half of 2020. “The SIJ Group is among the most active and most visible groups of companies on the domestic capital market and enjoys the investors’ trust also in the times of crisis. In addition to the said syndicated loan we completed the issue of long-term bonds of the company SIJ d.d. worth EUR 26.1 million and in December 2020 the issue of short-term commercial papers worth EUR 26.7 million. Together with the syndicated loan we managed to raise EUR 200.8 million on the capital market in cooperation with the NLB and the bank consortium,” explained Sandi Svetek, Head of Finance, SIJ Group, regarding the planned financial policy of the SIJ Group.
Brane Gregorec, Head of Corporate Finance, NLB, explained that this was one of the main advantages of the NLB in Slovenia: “the Bank treats its clients in a comprehensive manner, offering structured financing and a combination of consultancy services, as well as organising financing in the form of different financial instruments.”
The SIJ Group is Slovenia’s largest vertically integrated group in the metallurgy sector. Its products rank high on the European and global niche steel industry markets. It is among the ten largest business groups in Slovenia, among the largest Slovenian exporters and the most important employers in Slovenia.
The NLB Group is a leading banking and financial group with the registered office and exclusive strategic interest in the South-Eastern Europe (SEE), which is our home region. It covers markets with a population of approximately 17.4 million people. In addition to the parent company NLB d.d., the NLB Group also comprises nine daughter banks and several companies providing auxiliary services (asset management, real-estate management etc.). The NLB has the S&P investment grade rating and it is a public limited company owned by different investors, the biggest among them being the Republic of Slovenia with the share of 25% plus one share. By taking over Komercijalna banka Belgrade in December 2020, the Group further strengthened its strategic and systemic position and is now among the first three leading banks in six out of seven markets on which it operates.
SIJ – Slovenska industrija jekla, d.d.
Sara Wagner, MSc, Head of Corporate Communications
Phone: +386 1 242 98 27
Mobile: +386 41 313 532
Nova Ljubljanska banka d.d., Ljubljana
Mojca Strojan, NLB Corporate Communications
Phone: +386 1 476 5121
Mobile: +386 31 684 230