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Corrs crosses with KordaMentha for tunnel deal
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Corrs crosses with KordaMentha for tunnel deal

CORRS CHAMBERS Westgarth has advised Martin Madden of KordaMentha on the $700 million sale of the Sydney CrossCity Tunnel to the ABN AMRO/Leightons consortium. The firm worked with Martin Madden…

CORRS CHAMBERS Westgarth has advised Martin Madden of KordaMentha on the $700 million sale of the Sydney CrossCity Tunnel to the ABN AMRO/Leightons consortium.

The firm worked with Martin Madden of KordaMentha, the receiver of the CrossCity Motorway companies, to stabilise the business and to prepare a strategy for and give effect to the sale.

A syndicate of 18 local and offshore banks received all their outstanding principal, interest, default interest and costs within eight months of appointing Martin Madden as receiver, as a result of the deal.

Lawyers on the deal said the firm was able to ensure the receiver and the syndicate of banks were not left with any residual liabilities, and made sure the purchasing consortium did not assume any residual liabilities.

Corrs said the CrossCity Motorway companies were put through deeds of company arrangement as part of the sale process. Martin Madden said: “We are increasingly seeing the benefits of receivership and administration co-existing and interacting to delivery optimum results to creditors.”

The deal represented a successful stress testing of financiers’ enforcement rights in public-private partnership-type structures, with cure and step in rights being exercised successfully, the firm said. It added that a highlight was the receiver’s ability to terminate the O&M agreement as part of the sale process, which significantly enhanced the tunnel’s saleability.

Partner Dominic Emmett, who led the Corrs project team said: “The sale was the culmination of a significant effort from the teams at KordaMentha, UBS and Corrs, who demonstrated superb teamwork and commitment in delivering the deal. The Corrs project team alone included more than 50 lawyers over the duration of the transaction.

“Martin Madden and his team at KordaMentha demonstrated their expertise in identifying and advising syndicate lenders on the appropriate course of action to maximise their return. They developed a corporate restructuring solution, which they then implemented with full make whole for the syndicate of banks which funded the project,” Emmett said.

Corrs has shared a relationship with KordaMentha since 2002, when the two firms worked together on the Ansett administration. Dominic Emmett said: “The great thing about working with KordaMentha is that we really do work side-by-side with them, whether it is out on site, in each other’s offices or around the negotiating table.”

Madden said a few unplanned issues did surprise the firms before closing, adding that the firm’s relationship with Corrs was very useful at that point. “That’s when we needed advisers like Corrs who worked closely with us previously, whom we could trust and whom we knew would respond real-time to the issues we were facing.”

The Corrs project team, which spanned the corporate advisory, construction and banking & finance practice groups, included Dominic Emmett, Simon Ashworth, Stephen Hibbert, Frank Lawson, John Munton, Sophia Bobeff, Alison Cairns, Alessandra Saltos, Divya Sharma and Kip Fitzsimon, as well as members of the revenue, intellectual property, workplace relations and litigation teams who worked on various aspects of the receivership and transaction.

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