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Freehills acts on natural gas deal

Freehills acts on natural gas deal

Freehills has advised on a deal involving Australia’s largest natural gas infrastructure business.

Freehills has advised on a deal in which Australia’s largest natural gas infrastructure business, APA Group, issued $300 million of 10 year fixed-rate medium term notes to bond investors.

The firm advised APA’s issuer, APT Pipelines Limited, on the deal, the first 10 year corporate bond in Australia issued by a BBB rated issuer.

The Freehills team was led by partners Patrick Lowden and John Angus, with senior associate, Vittorio Casamento and legal associate, Elizabeth Burnett. The transaction was successfully completed in a tight timeframe to take advantage of favourable market conditions, the firm said today.

“The issue represents a first for the corporate bond market in Australia, being a 10 year bond issued by a BBB rated corporate issuer, and without support of financial covenants” Lowden said.

“The transaction was completed in a short period of time and it is great to see the Australian market provide this level of support for a first-time local issuer.”

The proceeds from the issue of the MTNs will be used by APA to refinance existing debt facilities and will extend the average maturity of APA’s debt, Freehills said.

APA Group chief financial officer, Peter Fredricson, said: “Noting that we originally launched a $200m deal, we are pleased that investors have strongly supported this offering with $300 million, confirming their confidence in APA’s business.”

The joint lead managers and arrangers to the bond issue were Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and National Australia Bank (NAB) with both Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation acting as co-managers.

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