International law firm CMS has advised a syndicate of banks led by ING Bank N.V. in relation to the postponement of loan payments under the USD 450m pre-export facility for Ukraine’s Kernel Group. The terms of repayments postponement have been developed and agreed in parallel for several bank creditors of Kernel, including Natixis, EBRD and EIB, following a fair treatment principal approach.
According to the agreed terms, Kernel will continue to pay interest accrued on loans in accordance with the terms of loan agreements, whereas the principal repayment is postponed until 30 June 2023.
The payment terms adjustment was required due to the severe disruptions to the business processes and logistics for the supply of grain and sunflower oil, caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in particular the blockade of Black Sea ports. The agreement in relation to the bank debt repayment reached with the creditors of Kernel group, would provide the necessary financial stability for Kernel group to work in the current unprecedented circumstances of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Kernel, being the largest producer and seller of bottled sunflower oil in Ukraine, before the war, was ranked first in the world in sunflower oil production (about 7% of world production) and its export (about 12%).
Kateryna Chechulina, Counsel at CMS Kyiv, commented: "We are honoured to have advised the ING-led syndicate on the repayments’ postponement agreement in the challenging circumstances of war in Ukraine. The financial support provided by international partners is crucial for helping the agriculture sector of Ukraine to continue operate and supply to global market, contributing to ensuring global food security".
Ihor Olekhov, Partner and Head of Banking & Finance Practice added: "Our commodity finance practice has achieved an unprecedented experience of leading complex and sophisticated cross-border transactions and restructurings by finding the right commercial, technical and sectoral expertise within the ranks of leading global finance practice".
The CMS international team was led by Kateryna Chechulina, English and Ukrainian law qualified counsel, under supervision of Elitsa Ivanova, English law qualified partner, and comprised of Ukrainian team of Ihor Olekhov, partner and Head of Banking & Finance Practice, Khrystyna Korpan, Ivan Pshyk, Iryna Barlit and Ruslan Dotsenko (Banking & Finance); Mykola Heletiy (Commercial); Roman Hryshyn-Hryshchuk (Disputes) and others; CMS lawyers in Switzerland, led by partner Dr Kaspar Landolt and in Luxembourg, led by partner Vivian Walry.