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Large law advises 16 banks in Port of Newcastle refinancing

Large law advises 16 banks in Port of Newcastle refinancing

Allens advised three of the major Australian banks and 13 international banks in a Port of Newcastle deal.

ALLENS has advised the senior banks and mezzanine lenders in the A$3.2 billion combined refinancing of stage one and financing of stage two of the third coal export terminal at the Port of Newcastle.

Allens advised three of the major Australian banks and 13 international banks involved in the refinancing, which included a US$1.9 billion seven-year debt facilities package, a A$470 million 12- year junior debt note series and a A$420 million preference equity tranche.

The work by the Allens team, led by partners Phillip Cornwell and Rob Watt, builds on the firm's involvement in stage one of the coal export terminal, which was officially opened in May 2010, it said in a statement today.

Stage two of the project will see the construction of a new rail unloading facility and rail sidings, an additional stacker, reclaimer and stockyards, additional conveyors and sample stations, and a shiploader.

The project is expected to generate strong economic benefits for the Hunter region, the firm said, as well as the rest of New South Wales, providing an infrastructure link that will enable greater Australian coal exports and mine expansions.

Cornwell said: 'We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to work on this significant project with ANZ (who acted as financial adviser), Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group and the other lenders, to achieve a commercially successful outcome.”

The Allens legal team said the transaction was challenging, involving a number of complex intercreditor issues.

“It marks another stage in the improvement of financial markets following the global financial crisis; and demonstrates the ability of the private sector to develop and finance critical resources infrastructure in an efficient and timely way,” Cornwell said.

'The involvement of a diverse range of investors (both international and domestic), including super funds, to provide substantial mezzanine funding for a project involving construction risk was an innovative and significant aspect of the financing structure,” Watt said.

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Large law advises 16 banks in Port of Newcastle refinancing
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