LUKA KOPER, d.d., Koper
Loan Agreement with the European Investment Bank
On 6th April 2011, the European Investment Bank (herein: EIB) and Luka Koper d.d. signed a twenty-year loan agreement in the amount of 35 million euros. These funds shall be used to round up the financial structure for the project “Pier I Container Terminal extension at the Port of Koper”.
Container freight is a priority cargo at the Port of Koper, which is also testified to by last year's record throughput of 476,731 TEUs: up by thirty-nine percent on 2009. Luka Koper today operates the largest container terminal in the Northern Adriatic. Further to this, the greatest throughput was recorded in the last three months of 2010, which also indicates the trends for 2011.
The loan will significantly contribute to the reduction of Luka Koper d.d.’s financing costs as well as the weighted average cost of capital, thus adhere to the principal objective of maximising the value of the company. In addition, the company shall continue to pursue the balanced asset maturity with that of its sources of financing, and this is - due to the nature of these investments - of a long-term character. This EIB loan will considerably prolong the average maturity of debt financing.
The EIB approved the loan on a non-secured basis. Because of that, the loan agreement includes also the obligation, that in the event of modification of dividend policy by Luka Koper d.d. (where dividends rise above 50% of net profit), the bank is at liberty to ask for remedy or the repayment of the remaining portion of the loan. This clause, however, doesn't affect the existing dividend policy of the company.
The advantages and benefits provided by lower financing costs and the prolongation of maturity exceed the potential costs accrued upon any eventual modification of the dividend policy. The company's Management Board believes that the EIB’s granting of the loan illustrates the institution's confidence in Luka Koper's long-term development.
This information shall be available on company's website from 7th April 2011 onwards.
The Management Board