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Dubai's GEMS Education says it secured $1.25bln loan

The new loan includes a $250mln five-year revolving credit facility

image used for illustrative purpose.
United States one dollar bills are put in packaging bands during production at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington November 14, 2014.

image used for illustrative purpose. United States one dollar bills are put in packaging bands during production at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington November 14, 2014.

REUTERS/Gary Cameron
DUBAI - GEMS Education, an international private education provider based in Dubai, has secured a $1.25 billion loan to refinance existing borrowings and to support future growth, it said on Monday.

The company, which is supported by Dubai-based Fajr Capital, Bahraini state investment fund Mumtalakat and private equity giant Blackstone , said in a statement it had drawn $900 million from the seven-year loan.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, HSBC Bank Middle East, MashreqBank and Noor Bank were underwriters of the loan, which was backed by a larger group of regional and international investors, the firm said without giving details.

The new loan includes a $250 million five-year revolving credit facility, GEMS said.

Sources had told Reuters in October GEMS planned to raise the loan to streamline its corporate structure before making an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in London.

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The company said on Monday its shareholders were "exploring the possibility of an offering of securities in the company" but that no decision to proceed with a transaction had been taken.

GEMS had net debt of $742 million at the end of August, before the $1.25 billion loan was raised.

In the 12-month period ending Aug. 31, the company posted $926.2 million in revenues, about 17 percent more than the same period a year earlier, driven by enrolment growth and tuition fee increases, it said.

(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Edmund Blair) ((Davide.Barbuscia@thomsonreuters.com; +971522604297; Reuters Messaging: davide.barbuscia.reuters.com@reuters.net))