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AAR joins others on coal deal

AAR joins others on coal deal

ALLENS ARTHUR Robinson was the legal adviser for financiers to the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group in the financing of a Newcastle project.The firm advised the senior and junior lenders…

ALLENS ARTHUR Robinson was the legal adviser for financiers to the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group in the financing of a Newcastle project.

The firm advised the senior and junior lenders involved in the financing of the $1.55 billion coal loading and port facility project in Newcastle. Financing involved $1.3 billion senior debt and $250 million junior debt. Senior debt funding was provided by ANZ Bank, Dexia, KBC, Suncorp-Metway, DZ Bank, OCBC and SMBC. All banks were appointed equal mandated lead arrangers for the $1.2 billion senior term loan tranche.

Allens acted as legal adviser to the financiers of the project. The team comprised: partners Rob Watt, Phillip Cornwell, Thomas Miller, Ren Niemann and Tony Wassaf, as well as senior associates Claire Miles and Nick Adkins and lawyers Simran Sandhu and Elizabeth Lamaro.

Blake Dawson acted for the borrowers, while Clayton Utz acted for the borrowers on certain construction aspects.

Allens has a long-standing relationship with ANZ, which advised the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group. As a special purpose vehicle set up by the consortium, this was the first time Allens had worked with Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group

The debt was funded through a variety of instruments, including a construction facility converting to term facility, cost-overrun facility, liquidity facility, working capital facility, letter of credit facility, and junior notes, the firm said.

“We are pleased to have worked on this transaction and to have dealt with the large number of equity parties involved in the project vehicle, all of whom are significant market participants in their own right. This project will go a long way towards solving the well-publicised capacity constraints at the Port of Newcastle,” said project leader, Rob Watt.

“The different layers of debt provided, including debt provided by some of the sponsors, gave rise to significant intercreditor issues,” Watt said. “These needed to be resolved in a relatively short time with the various parties to the project and the financiers.”

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