Firm: Herbert Smith Freehills
Deal: Enhanced equipment note offering for Virgin Australia Holdings Limited
Area: Capital markets
Value: $US797.2 million
Key players: The Herbert Smith Freehills team was jointly led by Sydney-based partner John Angus (pictured) and Singapore partner Rod Howell. They were supported by a raft of Sydney, Brisbane and Singapore partners including Matthew Fitzgerald, Amanda Wales, Mark Clifton and Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan and Greenwoods & Freehills director Andy Hirst.
Goldman Sachs acted as sole structuring agent and lead bookrunner together with Credit Agricole Securities and Natixis as joint bookrunners.
Deal significance: This transaction was the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific, although it is commonly used as a form of aircraft financing by US airlines.
The deal is backed by an existing fleet of 24 aircraft operated by Virgin Australia, from which the proceeds will be used to repay existing financing facilities and for general corporate purposes.
“We are very proud to have been able to assist key client Virgin Australia in the successful implementation of its ground breaking Enhanced Equipment Note transaction,” said John Angus. “The deal provides an important, stable and alternative source of funding for Virgin Australia and the quality of the transaction is evident in the strength of support from investors.”