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Water plant agreement flows on to 2035

Water plant agreement flows on to 2035

A public-private partnership water filtration agreement in NSW has been extended, in addition to the refinancing of its associated bank syndicate.

Firms: Baker & McKenzie (UniSuper); Johnson Winter & Slattery (Suez); Clayton Utz (Sydney Water)

Deal: The Prospect Water Partnership (PWP) between UniSuper, Suez and Sydney Water has been extended, in addition to the refinancing of an existing ANZ-led bank syndicate for PWP.

Value: $1 billion approx

Area: Banking & finance

Key players: Bakers partner Sean Rush (pictured) led the team advising UniSuper on the deal. Other lawyers who worked on the transaction included: David Cooper, Peter McMahon, George Harris, Geoffrey Wood, Lewis Apostolou, Howard Fraser, Stephen Watts, Sean Duffy, David Walter, Franco Aversa, Teresa Ientile, Angela Cowan, Robyn Farrell, Ana Gomiero-Guthrie, Fiona Eliott, Serena Chow, Bernice Ng, Emma Hunter, Justin Wong, Audrey Sam, Emily Hunter, Matthew De Cataldo, Nicholas Kraegen, Lauren Drake, Kelvin Lau, Helena Lau, Joseph Bates and Andrea Hingeley. 

Deal significance:

PWP is among the first public-private partnerships in NSW and is responsible for maintaining one of the world’s largest water filtration plants. It is a partnership between UniSuper and Suez.

The deal involved both the refinancing and restructure of PWP, adding an extra fourteen years to the agreement concession with Sydney Water Corporation and is valued at approximately A$1 billion. 

The refinancing of PWP’s existing ANZ-led bank syndicate involved debt from UniSuper to both PWP partners.

The Prospect Water Filtration Plant is a critical state infrastructure asset and is capable of providing drinking water for up to 85 per cent of Sydney’s population. Under the extended agreement, ownership of the filtration plant will transfer to Sydney Water in 2035.

Commenting on the deal, Baker & McKenzie lead partner Sean Rush described the outcome as “great for the community”.

“This was a challenging and complex transaction that was many years in the making and had many facets,” Mr Rush said.

Baker & McKenzie partner Sean Rush

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