EBRD lends 217 mln euro to Georgia's state energy company

TBILISI, Sept 23 (Reuters) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Wednesday it had lent 217 million euros to Georgia’s state Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) to refinance its Eurobond issue maturing next year.

GOGC, a major Georgian electricity and natural gas supplier, issued 5-year Eurobonds worth $250 million on the London Stock Exchange in 2016 to refinance a previous same-sized issue in 2012. J.P.Morgan acted as bookrunner of the 2016 issue.

The EBRD said that the loan would “ease cash flow pressure and address liquidity constraints for the corporation resulting from the significant economic turmoil caused by COVID-19 and the difficulty to access the capital markets.”

GOGC has postponed a planned Eurobond issue this year due to unfavourable market conditions amid the spread of the coronavirus.

It had been planning to issue Eurobonds worth 300 million euros on the London Stock Exchange in April 2020 and to use the proceeds to refinance a previous issue and also to finance construction of a third power plant in Gardabani. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Bernadette Baum)