Business

Comm. Bank arranges US $ 22.5 mn
syndicated loan for SriLankan Catering


In the picture (From Left) are Dilip Nijahwan, CEO, SriLankan Catering; Peter Hill, CEO and Rajan Brito, Chairman of SriLankan; Amitha Gooneratne, Managing Director, Commercial Bank; R. Theyagarajah, Director/CEO, Hatton National Bank; Anil Amarasuriya, Managing Director, Sampath Bank and Asoka De Silva, CEO/General Manager, People’s Bank, at the signing of the syndicated loan.

A consortium of four local banks led by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon has raised a syndicated loan of US $ 22.5 million for national carrier SriLankan Airlines’ fully owned subsidiary - SriLankan Catering (Pvt) Ltd., to build a state-of-the-art flight kitchen at the Bandaranaike International Airport. The Mandated Lead Arranger/ Agent, Commercial Bank successfully syndicated the seven year facility for SriLankan Catering together with Hatton National Bank, Peoples Bank and Sampath Bank. Several other banks had also expressed keen interest in participating in this syndication, the Commercial Bank said. Speaking at the formal signing of the Syndicated Loan Agreement, Commercial Bank’s Managing Director Amitha Gooneratne said this project to build a flight kitchen was a rare example of a project where work has commenced even before funding was sourced, and commended SriLankan Catering for the progress already made. "Another special feature of the syndication was that it was entirely funded by local banks without the involvement of any foreign bank" he said. Mr. Gooneratne added that Commercial Bank was proud to be associated with the other participating banks in the syndicate, and looked forward to a strong relationship with the national carrier. SriLankan Catering CEO, Dilip Nijahwan said the new flight kitchen when completed would be an industry statement, and do Sri Lanka proud. He lauded Commercial Bank for its efficiency and flexibility in arranging the syndicated loan.`A0 He also commended Commercial Bank for being proactive and responsive to the special needs of SriLankan Catering. The new flight kitchen would comprise of 13,000 square metres over four floors and be equipped with the most modern equipment for production, warehousing and operational needs, he said. It will be capable of producing 4.75 million meals a year and cater to the tremendous increase in traffic at the BIA. SriLankan Catering which was established in 1980 and is the winner of several Mercury Awards, is a fully owned subsidiary of SriLankan Airlines. About 70 per cent of its output caters to the requirements of the parent company. A private sector benchmark for its consistently strong performance indicators, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, has the country’s largest computer-linked network of 128 branches, and operates 205 automated teller machines in Sri Lanka. The Bank has been rated the ‘Best Bank’ in Sri Lanka by the US based "Global Finance" for the past seven years and been adjudged ‘Bank of the Year’ by the UK’s "The Banker" magazine for the last four years.

 

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