Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (Newcastle Airport Pty Limited); Sparke Helmore (Department of Defence)
Deal: Corporate restructure of Newcastle Airport Pty Limited
Area: Project finance / aviation
Key players: HSF partners Peter Paradise (pictured) and Greg Hing led the HSF team, while Greg Nyman led Sparkes’ team. Ernst & Young also provided tax and stamp duty advice
Deal significance: Newcastle Airport Pty Limited has undergone a corporate restructure as it looks to expand its services from a domestic-only airport to become an international airport for regional NSW.
Local media outlets have reported that the refinancing has allowed the airport to repay $12 million in debts to the Newcastle and Port Stephens councils, with the airport’s increased capacity meaning it can accommodate A330 Airbuses and Boeing 787s for international flights.
The NSW Government has also contributed a $1.1 million grant.
“The airport is now well placed to be a major transport hub for business and residents in the Hunter and Central Coast regions,” said Paradise. “We commend all stakeholders on the way in which the corporate restructure has been delivered to enable the airport to meet the needs of this fast-growing, vibrant community.”
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