July 13, 2021
Latham & Watkins’ Project Development & Finance Practice earned recognition in IJGlobal’s 2020 Deal of the Year Awards, advising on 14 transactions that received awards across Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East and North Africa. The award-winning deals featured one of the largest petrochemical deals in North America, the largest single global energy infrastructure deal of 2020, and more complex and precedent setting financings from across the globe.
The winning projects include:
- European Export Finance Deal of the Year and European Battery Storage Deal of the Year – Northvolt
Latham advised the European Investment Bank, Euler Hermes, the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), BPI France, and 12 commercial banks on a US$1.6 billion financing package for Sweden’s Northvolt, a European sustainable battery developer and manufacturer specializing in lithium-ion technology for electric vehicles. The debt raise will support the creation of Europe’s first home-grown gigafactory for lithium-ion batteries.
- European Refinancing (Hydro) Deal of the Year – HS Orka
Latham represented HS Orka, the renewable energy and utility business in Iceland, and its shareholders in securing a US$210 million financing package with a group of commercial lenders. HS Orka will use the facilities to pursue development projects and support further growth of the business.
- MENA O&G Deal of the Year – Project Galaxy
Latham advised Galaxy Pipeline Assets Bidco Limited on its public offering of US$4 billion senior secured bonds, to part refinance a c.US$8 billion term acquisition loan which the company borrowed in June 2020 to finance the acquisition of a 47.7% stake in ADNOC Gas Pipeline Assets LLC (ADNOC Gas Pipelines).
MENA Refinancing (O&G) Deal of the Year- ADNOC Refinancing
advised a consortium of investors on the financing of its US$8 billion
acquisition of a 47.7% stake in ADNOC Gas Pipeline Assets LLC, a newly formed
subsidiary of ADNOC with lease rights to 38 pipelines covering a total of 982.3
kilometers, with ADNOC holding the majority stake. The firm subsequently
the US$8 billion in aggregate series of public bonds issued to refinance the
acquisition financing. It is reported that the transaction is the largest
single global energy infrastructure deal in 2020 and, the MENA region’s
North American O&G Deal of the Year – Whistler Gas Pipeline
Latham represented WhiteWater Midstream, an independent midstream company that provides transportation services to domestic oil and gas plays, in the transaction to move forward with the design and construction of the Whistler Pipeline, a 446-mile natural gas pipeline in Texas. It was funded through a combination of equity, term loan, and private placement proceeds. According to IJGlobal, it was the largest greenfield project financing on record using a hybrid bank-notes structure.
- North American Battery Storage Deal of the Year – Bolt Battery Storage
Latham represented LS Power Equity Advisors and Bolt Energy FinanceCo, the sponsor and borrower, in a US$300 million financing of multiple battery energy storage system expansions in California, including Gateway, the world’s largest battery storage project. This was the largest portfolio of battery storage assets financed to date.
- North American Petrochemicals Deal of the Year – Alberta Propane Dehydrogenation/Polypropylene Project (CKPC)
Latham advised the sponsors on the approximately US$2 billion project financing in connection with the development of a chemicals facility, comprising a world-scale propane dehydrogenation facility and a world-scale polypropylene plant located in Alberta, Canada. This is one of the largest petrochemical deals to take place in North America.
- North American Power Deal of the Year – CPV Three Rivers Energy Center
Latham advised Competitive Power Ventures, Inc., a leading North American natural gas, solar, and wind powered and electric power generation development and asset management company, in connection with the project financing of a natural gas-fired electric generating facility in Grundy County, Illinois. The company sourced approximately US$875 million in debt and US$425 million in equity to back the 1,258-MW facility. This was the only major gas-fired power plant construction project financing in the US in 2020.
- North American Refinancing (Power) Deal of the Year – Linden Cogeneration
Latham advised the joint lead arrangers in the US$1.1 billion project financing of the Linden Cogeneration facility, a 809-MW and 165-MW natural gas-fired cogeneration facilities located in Linden, New Jersey. The 974-MW Linden cogeneration power plant, which is comprised of six units, will use the proceeds for refinancing purposes. This deal was one of only a few new infrastructure term loan Bs at the time and benefited from strong investor interest. They were able to resize their term loan from US$950 million to US$1 billion.
North American Renewables (Geothermal) Deal of the Year – Geysers Facilities Project
Latham represented the lenders in Calpine Corp’s US$1.1 billion refinancing of Geysers Power Company’s 13 geothermal power plants in the Mayacamas Mountains region, 75 miles north of San Francisco. The financing comprised a US$900 million 7-year term loan, a US$130 million RCF, and a US$70 million letter of credit. Notably, this transaction was the first large-scale project financing deal to occur post-COVID.
Asia-Pacific Refinancing (Regional & O&G) Deal of the Year – Ichthys LNG refinancing
Latham represented a group of export credit agencies and a consortium of commercial bank lenders in the refinancing of approximately US$8.3 billion for the Ichthys LNG project in Australia. Ranked among the most significant large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in the world, the Ichthys LNG project is a joint venture between INPEX (the operator), major partner Total, CPC Corporation Taiwan, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric Power, JERA, and Toho Gas. This refinancing was one of the largest single refinancings of project finance debt to have successfully closed.
- Asia-Pacific Telecoms Deal of the Year – Jio Platforms
Latham advised Silver Lake Partners in the investment in Jio Platforms, Reliance Industries’ Indian mobile communications provider. Thirteen financial and strategic investors acquired approximately 33% equity interest for more than US$21 billion.
- European Refinancing (Social Infrastructure) Deal of the Year – Coriance
Latham represented the borrower/sponsor in the €100 million refinance of Coriance, the third largest district heating business in France. The refinancing comprised of €100 million of senior facilities – capex and term debt – with existing lenders NAB and Westpac. These are structured as sustainability improvement facilities which, “link the pricing on the loans with the company’s performance across a number of sustainability KPIs.”