Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) has sealed a new three-year receivables-backed trade finance facility of US$300 million.
The facility will be used to refinance Cocoa Bills raised by Bank of Ghana on behalf of Cocobod and to finance production enhancement programmes.
Speaking about the new facility, the CEO of Ghana Cocoa Board Joseph Boahen Aidoo, 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 C2 – Internal Natixis C2 – Inter nal Natixis regions to enhance the social and environmental sustainability of cocoa farming and also improve the livelihood of farmers.”
The fully underwritten facility was arranged by Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Natixis, Societe Generale, and MUFG Bank, Ltd., (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 following a targeted syndication process.
“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, aiming at: – Promoting environmentally friendly cocoa production – Increasing sensitivity to child labour – 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,” a statement from the public affairs department of Cocobod said.
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 sheanut. After the Ivory Coast, Ghana is the world’s second-largest cocoa exporter.