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Seaborn Networks Mandates Natixis as Sole Structuring Bank, Underwriter, and Lead Arranger

USD 290 million in senior secured commercial debt fully underwritten on Brazil-US subsea cable project.

BOSTON, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Seaborn Networks and Natixis are pleased to announce that Seaborn has mandated Natixis, a major French bank, to act as sole structuring bank, underwriter and lead arranger for a fully underwritten USD 290 million senior secured project financing debt for the development and installation of Seaborn's new subsea fiber optic cable system between commercial and financial centers of Brazil and the United States. Natixis is also expected to serve as COFACE Facility Agent and Security Agent for this project debt.

Seaborn's new submarine cable project, known as Seabras-1, is a 40 Tbps, four fiber pair system extending 10,400 km between Sao Paulo, Brazil and New York, USA, with a branch landing in Fortaleza, Brazil. It will be the first direct route between Sao Paulo and the United States, with lower latency than any other competing system, and is also the world's longest system to be fully deployed with 100 Gbps coherent technology.

The mandating of Natixis to arrange the credit facility follows the previously announced "Promise of Cover" provided by Compagnie Francaise d'Assurance pour le Commerce Exterieur (COFACE), the French export credit agency, for banks that participate in the facility. The mandating of Natixis in the role of Lead Arranger for this credit facility follows the recent announcement by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group that the IFC is now one of the owners of Seaborn.

"Natixis has been a valued partner throughout the financing process and this further solidifies our strong relationship with a leading infrastructure finance bank," said Larry Schwartz, Seaborn's CEO. "We are very appreciative of the bank's support in helping us to achieve another key milestone in the development of this subsea cable project."

"Natixis welcomes the opportunity to play a key role in the Seabras-1 project, which is expected to be the first export credit agency-backed project financing in the global submarine cable industry," said Olivier Delay, Managing Director & Head of Aviation, Export and Infrastructure, Americas for Natixis Wholesale Banking.

Natixis has been advising Seaborn as the exclusive equity adviser and COFACE Agent, in addition to now being mandated as the sole structuring bank, underwriter, lead arranger and COFACE Facility Agent.

Seabras-1 is being built for Seaborn by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN). Environmental and permitting work in Brazil has been provided by Ecology & Environment, Inc. and in the United States by Michael Baker, Jr., Inc.

Seaborn is advised by Portland Advisers (debt adviser), Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (project counsel), Wiltshire & Grannis LLP (US regulatory counsel), Choate Hall & Stewart LLP (US corporate and tax counsel), Barbosa Mussnich e Aragao Advogados (Brazil corporate, tax and regulatory counsel), Appleby (Bermuda) Limited (Bermuda counsel), The Weiner Company, Inc. (insurance adviser) and EY (international tax adviser).

Natixis is advised by Clifford Chance US LLP (project counsel), Sidley Austin LLP (US regulatory counsel), Veriano Advogados (Brazil counsel), Benatar & Co. Ltd. (insurance adviser), Analysys Mason (market & technical adviser), and Terabit Consulting (market adviser).

About Seaborn Networks
Seaborn Networks is a developer and operator of submarine fiber optic cable systems, including Seabras-1, which is the first direct fiber optic cable between commercial and financial centers of Brazil and the United States. Seabras-1 is a 40 Tbps system that will connect Sao Paulo, Brazil and New York, USA, with a branch that lands in Fortaleza, Brazil. Seaborn was founded by submarine cable / wholesale carrier executives with a successful track record in designing, building and operating many of the world's largest submarine networks as well as in infrastructure finance. Prior submarine systems designed, built and operated by Seaborn's management team represent a total of 75 landing stations, 250 points of presence and 250,000 km of submarine cable (more than 6X the circumference of the earth). For more information, please visit www.seabornnetworks.com.

About Natixis
Natixis is the corporate, investment and financial services arm of Groupe BPCE, the 2nd-largest banking group in France with 21% of total bank deposits and 36 million clients spread over two networks, Banque Populaire and Caisse d'Epargne.

With more than 15,300 employees (excl. Coface), Natixis has a number of areas of expertise which are organized in three main business lines: Wholesale Banking, Investment Solutions and Specialized Financial Services.

A global player, Natixis has its own client base of companies, financial institutions and institutional investors as well as the client base of individuals, professionals and small and medium-size businesses of Groupe BPCE's two retail banking networks.

Listed on the Paris stock exchange, it has a solid financial base with a CET1 capital under Basel 3 (1) of €12.5 billion, a Basel 3 CET1 Ratio(1) of 10.4% and quality long-term ratings (Standard & Poor's: A / Moody's: A2 / Fitch Ratings: A).

(1) Based on Natixis understanding of CRR-CRD4 rules reported on June 26, 2013, including the Danish compromise - without phase-in except for DTAs on tax loss carry forwards. 
Figures as at December 31, 2013

The development of Natixis in the Americas is central to Natixis' strategy.
Natixis is a recognized player in the infrastructure space and has notably obtained the following rankings and awards:
#1 Arranger in France for PPP, Concessions or DSP by Le Magazine des Affaires in 2011-2013
#7 Financial Advisor for Project Finance won worldwide by Infrastructure Journal in 2012
#15 MLA for Project Finance Worldwide by Thomson in 2013
More information on Natixis infrastructure expertise available on: http://cib.natixis.com/infrastructure

Press Contacts:

For Seaborn:
Dan Taylor, dantay@seabornnetworks.com, Tel: +1 978 377 8366

For Natixis:
Mitch Karig, Wholesale Banking Americas Communications, mitch.karig@us.natixis.com, Tel. +1 212 891 1882

SOURCE Seaborn Networks

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