Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (NSW Ports Consortium); Minter Ellison (NSW Government); King & Wood Mallesons (financiers)
Deal: NSW Ports Consortium’s successful bid to take over the lease of Port Botany and Port Kembla from the NSW Government
Area: Project finance
Value: $5.07 billion
Key players: The HSF team was led by partners Josh Sgro (pictured), Brendan Quinn and Gerard Pike, with support from senior associates Erin Wyeth, Hilary Cure and Jae Lemin and solicitors Cameron Watson and Cassidy Prent. HSF also separately advised individual Consortium member sponsors, including AustralianSuper. The team advising AustralianSuper was led by partner Sarrah Coffey, with support from senior associate Jodi Weedon
Deal significance: The NSW Ports Consortium won the 99-year lease of state-owned port assets following a six-month competitive bid process. The assets will be leased at a cost of $5.07 billion, with net proceeds of around $4 billion to be invested in Restart NSW, the State Government’s infrastructure fund.
The successful bid by NSW Ports included a $2 billion project finance debt package committed by a syndicate of 10 local and overseas banks. The HSF team negotiated and documented the syndicated debt for the Consortium.
Lead HSF partner Josh Sgro commented: “This result represents the culmination of the tremendous hard work and determination of the NSW Ports bid team and its advisors over many months and is a credit to all involved.”