February 08, 2019
Project Finance International has honored Latham & Watkins with five “Deal of the Year” awards. These awards highlight the innovative and market shaping work done globally by the firm’s Project Development & Finance Practice.
The deals honored include:
LatAm Renewable Deal of the Year – Latham represented Brookfield Infrastructure Group on the mezzanine financing in connection with the Cerro Dominador Project, a 210-MW concentrated solar power plant and a 110 MW photovoltaic solar power plant located in Santiago, Chile. The project, which involved the first-ever concentrated solar power plant (CSP) in Latin America, “…stood out with its intelligent structuring and exciting new technology…” using a multi-tranche structure that enabled the sponsors to tap a range of funding sources.
Asia-Pacific Bond Deal of the Year – Latham represented Clifford Capital Pte. Ltd. (“Clifford Capital”), a Singapore-based specialist arranger and provider of project and structured finance solutions, as the sponsor, manager and subordinated note investor of the first infrastructure project finance securitization in Asia. The notes, issued via Bayfront Infrastructure Capital (BIC), “marked the debut of a new asset class to facilitate institutional investor access to infrastructure debt in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East,” and consist of a pre-assembled US$458 million portfolio of marquee project and infrastructure loans diversified across 16 countries of project and 8 industry sub-sectors.
Middle East Petrochemical Deal of the Year – Latham represented the export credit agencies and commercial lenders on the project financing of the Duqm Refinery Project, a greenfield export refinery complex to be located within the Duqm Special Economic Zone, and reportedly the largest Sharia-compliant financing for a greenfield project in the Sultanate of Oman. This deal was “the major project deal in the Gulf region” in 2018 at US$4.6 billion. The first phase of the complex will comprise a 230,000 barrel per day export refinery and associated utilities, infrastructure and off-sites, crude storage and pipeline and product export facilities.
Middle East Refinancing Deal of the Year – Latham represented the export credit agencies and commercial lenders on the refinancing of Bahrain’s 1,234 MW and 48 million gallons per day Al Dur 1 Independent Water and Power Project. The new 10-year, US$1.3 billion deal meant the “project and its financing are back on track” and resolved various issues associated with the hard mini-perm deal that closed during the global financial crisis in 2009 which had entered a cash-sweep mode in 2014.
North America Power Deal of the Year – Latham represented the underwriters on the US$582.9 million financing of BlackRock and NextEra Energy Partners (NEP)’s acquisition of a portfolio of 11 operating wind and solar projects from NextEra Energy Resources. The structure of the deal “may have set a new precedent for acquisition financings by combining a project finance back-leverage loan with an equity margin loan, creating an option for sponsors looking to raise private, convertible financing to minimize financing costs and equity dilution.” The convertible equity portfolio financing is the first of its kind and features a unique buyout option where NEP has the right to repurchase all the borrower’s equity interests in the joint venture beginning in the fourth year.