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AAR, Mallesons in Sydney Airport refinancing

AAR, Mallesons in Sydney Airport refinancing

Allens Arthur Robinson acted for all financiers in the $3.155 billion refinancing of Sydney Airport, which involved a large panel of local and international financiers, including nine banks.The…

Allens Arthur Robinson acted for all financiers in the $3.155 billion refinancing of Sydney Airport, which involved a large panel of local and international financiers, including nine banks.

The airport added $655 million to its existing $2.5 billion in senior debt facilities, which it said will be used for capital expenditure and general working capital.

AAR acted for Goldman Sachs JBWere, MBIA and the banks, which were led by the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and Société Générale. The deal was finalised on 10 September.

Mallesons Stephen Jaques acted for Sydney Airport. Their team was coordinated by specialist project and infrastructure finance partner Ms Yuen-Yee Cho.

AAR had a team of more than 10 lawyers working on the deal. Partners Richard Gordon and Phillip Cornwell led the work for the banks. Diccon Loxton acted for Goldman Sachs and Ian Wallace and Mark Kidston advised MBIA.

Gordon said the deal involved an unusual and complex indirect security structure that tested the skills of his team.

The arrangement was “quite unusual because financiers usually prefer to have direct security”, he said.

The complicated arrangements meant the “pressure became quite intense towards the end with such a large number of interlinking documents requiring finalisation” within a three to four week period.

“I think the legal teams on all sides showed tremendous goodwill and cooperation to get the deal done in the time available,” he said.

Max Moore-Wilton, CEO and chairman of the Sydney Airport Corporation Ltd, said the refinancing was completed entirely in the bank debt and domestic capital markets.

“This refinancing provides Sydney Airport with a strong, stable financial base from which to operate in the future. The new terms of our debt facilities provide significantly reduced margins, increased flexibility and some administrative simplifications,” he said when he announced the completion of the refinancing last month.

“The successful refinancing reflects both the substantial improvement in business performance since privatisation of the airport in 2002 and the financial markets’ recognition of the resilience of the airport business.”

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