(EnergyAsia, April 19 2011, Tuesday) — Australia’s Origin Energy Limited said it has completed the syndication of an A$2.15 billion and US$350 million bank debt facility with a term of between three and five years. (US$1=A$0.97).

Origin initially executed an underwritten A$2 billion facility last December, using A$1.1 billion to partly finance the acquisition of energy assets in New South Wales state and the remaining A$900 million to refinance maturing debt obligations.

The company launched a bank market syndication following completion of the acquisition of the assets of Integral Energy, Country Energy and Eraring Energy GenTrader on March 1. As it was “significantly oversubscribed”, Origin said it has accepted A$500 million of over-subscriptions. ANZ and National Australia Bank were the mandated lead arrangers, underwriters and bookrunners in this financing.

The facility is structured as a revolving debt facility with A$1 billion maturing in three years, and A$1.15 billion and US$350 million maturing in five years. Origin’s debt portfolio now has an average maturity of 3.9 years.

Origin said its long term credit ratings were recently reaffirmed, following announcement of a A$2.3 billion pro-rata renounceable equity raising. Origin has a BBB+ (stable outlook) from Standard and Poor’s and Baa1 (stable outlook) from Moody’s.

The institutional component of the equity raising was completed on March 17, raising A$1.13 billion. The retail component is expected to raise the balance of the A$2.3 billion, with settlement planned for 27 April.

Karen Moses, Origin’s executive director for finance and strategy, said:

“The significant level of oversubscriptions shows that this transaction has been well received by the bank market. We are pleased with the positive response.”

Origin Energy is Australia’s leading integrated energy company focused on oil and gas exploration and production, power generation and energy retailing.