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Sydney Light Rail project to be refinanced

Two major law firms have advised on the debt refinancing and early conditional debt pay down of the Sydney Light Rail project.

user iconLauren Croft 14 July 2021 Big Law
Sydney Light Rail project to be refinanced
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Firm: Herbert Smith Freehills (ALTRAC Light Rail Partnership, Aware Super, John Laing and Acciona), Allens (financiers).

Deal: HSF has advised ALTRAC Light Rail Partnership, Aware Super, John Laing and Acciona on the close to $700 million debt refinancing and early conditional debt pay down of the Sydney Light Rail project, which comprises the new 12-kilometre CBD and South East Light Rail line and 13-kilometre Inner West Light Rail line. The refinancing was completed with a “Green Loan”, while Allens advised the senior financiers and green loan coordinators.

Value: $700 million. 


Area: Finance, real estate.

Key players: The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner Erin Wakelin, with support from solicitor Nicholas Gerovasilis. Partner Nicholas Adkins led the Allens team and was assisted by Sunny Jong, Jo Ye and Alexander Whitman.

Deal significance: The 12-year green loan was established consistent with the Green Loan Principles 2021, published by the Loan Market Association, Asia Pacific Loan Market Association and Loan Syndications and Trading Association, and achieved certification under the Climate Bond Initiative under the Low Carbon Transport Criteria.

The Sydney Light Rail project comprised the design, construction and financing of the dual-track rail line and its operation and maintenance until 2036. The existing debt facilities have been refinanced with a 12-year extended tenor, after the early payment of the CDPD from Transport for NSW.

As part of the refinancing, the project was certified as meeting the Climate Bonds Standard low carbon transportation criteria on the basis that it will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from alternative modes of transport.

Ms Wakelin commented: “We are delighted to have a continuing role in relation to the financing of this project for ALTRAC Light Rail and its owners.

“The refinancing of the Sydney Light Rail project represents an important milestone for a critical piece of public infrastructure in New South Wales.”

Mr Adkins added: “We congratulate Transport for NSW, ALTRAC consortium, the financiers and financial adviser Capella Capital on this important milestone.

“The project has already transformed and revitalised the Sydney CBD. The ESG targets that were committed to as part of this innovative refinancing will contribute to achieving Sydney’s sustainability goals by facilitating increased public transport use through the heart of the city.