THE COMMONWEALTH Bank of Australia (CBA) and Leighton Holdings Limited have entered into an agreement to provide a $750 million fully underwritten revolving operating lease facility.
The facility, which includes a substantial initial sale and lease-back component, provides guaranteed funding availability to support the continued expansion of the Leighton plant fleet to cater for expected continued strong demand for contract mining.
Freehills acted for the CBA, led by partners John Schembri and John Angus, and Clayton Utz represented Leighton Holdings, led by Jason Huinink. Angus said the agreement included residual value coverage effectively throughout the term, as opposed to the usual arrangement of only providing coverage through the life of the facility.
Tied by confidentiality provisions, Angus was unable to reveal much about the transaction, but said it had been completed in a challenging timeframe.
Paul Riordan, CBA’s executive general manager for global finance solutions, said the agreement was a groundbreaking transaction for both the bank and Leighton. “We’re developing a mutually strategic long term partnership between the world’s largest contract miner and Australia’s largest financial services organisation.”
He said the bank expected continued strong growth in the principal commodity sectors of iron ore and coal. The transaction provided a good example of the Bank providing innovative funding solutions to its major institutional customers and is a model that is able to be replicated in other asset classes.