Allens has advised the lenders on WestConnex’s $4.2 billion refinancing, which reached financial close on 18 December 2020.
The $4.2 billion of new non-recourse debt comprises $3 billion of bank term debt facilities with tenors of three, five and seven years, and a $1.2 billion two-year bridge facility. The interest rate exposure on the term debt facilities will be fully hedged.
Along with refinancing WestConnex’s debt in respect of its M4 Asset, the refinancing restructures the previous debt structure by introducing a group funding platform to which other WestConnex assets could be added in future.
‘It was a privilege to advise what was a very large group of lenders on this novel refinancing structure, which will streamline existing debt to provide WestConnex and its Sponsors with a more versatile funding platform for the future,’ said lead Partner and Head of Project Finance Michael Ryan.
‘The outcome is a credit to WestConnex and its Sponsors and it is a testament to the enduring strength of the Australian project finance market that such a large and complicated refinancing process could be achieved so efficiently notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19,’ he said.
Allens is known for its work with all stakeholders across multiple asset classes to develop and implement innovative funding models. In the lead up to end of calendar year 2020, the firm has been advising the financiers on the establishment of a funding platform for the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, the lenders on the $11 billion Melbourne Metro Rail Project, Plenary Group on the augmentation and refinancing of Gold Coast Rail Stage 2 and refinancing of its LEAP 2 Australian Defence Force accommodation, the lenders to AMP Capital on $295m of facilities for the acquisition of the Ararat Prison PPP, QGIF on the $350m financing for its acquisition of the Esperance Power Project in WA, and the lenders on the green-loan certified refinancing of the Canberra Metro PPP.