September 6, 2017

ExxonMobil Acquires Jurong Aromatics Facility in Receivership Sale

Jurong Aromatics has been acquired by ExxonMobil to meet growing petrochemical demand in Asia

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP advised BNP Paribas (as Agent for the Secured Finance Parties) and the Receivers on the sale of Jurong Aromatics Corporation Pte. Ltd. (“JAC”), one of the world’s largest aromatics facilities. It is located on Jurong Island in Singapore. The original project financing of the greenfield facility closed in May 2011, the senior lenders appointed Cosimo Borrelli and Jason Kardachi of Borrelli Walsh Pte Limited as Receivers in September 2015, and the facility was acquired by ExxonMobil in a transaction that closed on August 28, 2017.

The Secured Finance Parties included The Export-Import Bank of Korea, The Korea Trade Insurance Corporation and a group of 14 international commercial bank lenders that participated in the original $1.6 billion senior secured financing.

The JAC plant went into receivership in September 2015 after being hit by a significant fall in oil and gas prices at the time of its original start-up of operations during third quarter of 2014. Milbank continued to represent the Agent and the Receivers to help get the plant operating prior to sale. The JAC plant resumed operations in July 2016 under tolling arrangements with BP Singapore Pte. Limited and Glencore Singapore Pte Ltd, and the Receivers finalized an agreement to sell JAC’s assets to ExxonMobil in May 2017.

The Milbank team was led by Singapore-based partners James Murray and David Zemans, with support from associates Kristina Hokenberg and Daniel Elliott. Peter Newman, a London-based Financial Restructuring partner, and Patrick Holmes, a London-based Leveraged Finance of counsel, also provided significant support.

Mr. Zemans said: “The successful closing of this deal further solidifies Milbank’s position as a global leader in the petrochemical sector and restructurings throughout Asia. We are delighted to have been able to work with these impressive financial institutions and the Receivers and other advisors to help bring the transaction to a successful close.”

Mr. Murray added: “This transaction represents one of the largest and most complex project financings and restructurings in the region, and we are pleased to have played an integral role during each stage of the transaction since first starting work on it almost 10 years ago. This major restructuring will tremendously benefit Singapore’s Jurong Island development, as well as key growth markets throughout Asia.”