Florian Degenhardt | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Florian Degenhardt
Florian Degenhardt

Florian Degenhardt

Partner, Hamburg

T +49 40 35005 364

T +49 40 35005 0

E fdegenhardt@whitecase.com

Florian heads the German project finance practice, which focuses on the core areas of energy and infrastructure, and the development of project bonds under the European Investment Bank (EIB) project bonds initiative.

Overview

Florian advises banks, financial institutions, investors and corporates on national and international finance transactions.

He brings commercial and legal insight to the structuring of complex, multi–sourced acquisition and project finance transactions, as well as related corporate and capital market solutions and refinancings, including ECA, EIB or KfW financings.

He is ranked by The Legal 500 EMEA as a recommended lawyer in the area of project finance, which includes his advice on project bonds and credit enhancements from the EIB under its project bonds initiative. His knowledge and experience in covered bonds and "Pfandbriefe" was further enhanced by his appointment as the trustee of a major German bank by the BaFin (the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority).

Florian guides clients through the intricacies of finance transactions in the areas of infrastructure (motorway and grids), including public private partnerships (PPPs); asset finance, most commonly relating to ships and aircraft; and real estate finance.

Florian has a rising reputation in Europe's growing infrastructure, energy (grids), renewable energy and project bonds sector, due to his work on numerous related finance transactions in Germany and Europe over the past few years. Clients benefit from his accumulated insight and experience in this often high-stakes industry.

Bars and Courts

  • Rechtsanwalt

Education

  • Second State Exam, Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Hamburg
  • First State Exam, University of Hamburg

Languages

  • German
  • English
  • French

Experience

First Project Bond Financing with EIB Credit Enhancements in Germany for Major A7 PPP Project, 2014

Advised the joint lead arrangers, lenders and institutional investors on the financing of the extension and operation of the A7 federal highway between Hamburg and Bordesholm. The largest PPP project ever launched in Germany, with construction costs of approximately €600 million, it was awarded by the federal state to the consortium of Hochtief, institutional investor Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF) and construction company Kemna. This was the first PPP project in the German market to be financed by project bonds with EIB project bond credit enhancements and Bank Bridge financing. It was also the first combined bank–bond financing in Europe using the EIB project bond credit enhancement. The transaction was named "2014 European Project Bond Deal of the Year" by IJGlobal and "2014 European Road Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine.

Acquisition of EVG, 2014

Advised a bank consortium including CIBC, Crédit Agricole CIB, ING Bank, SEB AG and Scotia Bank as arrangers on the financing of the acquisition of Erdgasversorgungsgesellschaft Thüringen-Sachsen GmbH (EVG) and associated gas networks, which were sold by E.ON SE and Verbundnetz Gas Aktiengesellschaft (VNG) to the infrastructure fund EDIF of First State Investments, the asset manager of the Commonwealth Bank.

French wind farm project, 2014

Advised HSH Nordbank AG on the project financing of the third-largest wind farm in France, Seine Rive Gauche Nord. The purchaser was Enhanced Sustainable Power Funds 3, a fund launched by the KGAL group, which – investing through a holding structure in various special purpose vehicles – will act as the wind farm's owners and operators. The sellers were the French wind farm developer H2air SAS and the German wind power systems manufacturer Nordex SE.

Acquisition of Ferngas Nordbayern, 2014

Advised a group of banks including SEB AG and DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale as arrangers on the financing for the acquisition of energy supplier Ferngas Nordbayern GmbH and its high-pressure natural gas grids. The Ferngas Nordbayern acquisition was the first investment by First State Investments in Germany. The debt financing will replace equity bridge financing, following cartel clearance.

Spectrum Brands refinancing, 2014

Advised the New York branch of Deutsche Bank AG as administrative agent of new senior secured facilities provided by a syndicate of banks to Spectrum Brands Inc. and Spectrum Brands Europe GmbH. The new loan facilities consisted of a US$215 million and a €225 million term facility for the Spectrum group, the proceeds of which were used to refinance a portion of their existing senior secured facilities.

€1 Billion acquisition of CeramTec, 2013

Advised the New York branch of Deutsche Bank AG as administrative agent, and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., RBC Capital Markets and UBS Securities LLC as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners of senior secured facilities provided by a syndicate of banks for the acquisition financing of German-based CeramTec Group by private equity firm Cinven, from US chemicals manufacturer Rockwood Holdings. Also advised Deutsche Bank AG as initial purchasers of senior notes issued to the acquisition. The secured facilities consisted of US$472.5 million and €291.3 million term loans and a €100 million revolving facility. The principal amount of the 8.25% senior notes due 2021 was €306.7 million.

Acquisition of majority shares in E.On Westfalen Weser AG, 2013

Advised Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Nord/LB and NRW.BANK, in their roles as arrangers on the financing of the acquisition of nearly 63 percent of the shares in E.ON Westfalen Weser AG by Westfalen Weser Energie GmbH & Co. KG. The purpose of the acquisition, which was worth more than €500 million, was to re-municipalise power lines and gas pipelines operated by E.ON Westfalen Weser AG in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony.

Hotel acquisitions by Fattal Hotels Group and international investors, 2013

Advised a consortium consisting of the Israeli hotel chain Fattal Hotels Group and other international investors on the acquisition of 20 hotels in Germany. The joint venture involved the acquisition of 15 Holiday Inn hotels, 4 Best Western hotels and 1 Queens hotel from Queens Moat Houses Ltd. This was the largest hotel property transaction in Germany in recent years. Stefan also provides ongoing advice to Fattal Hotels regarding the negotiation of several hotel lease agreements.

SAAOne €1 Billion PPP Project, 2013

Represented SAAOne, a consortium comprising Hochtief PPP Solutions GmbH, VolkerInfra PPP B.V., Boskalis B.V. and Dutch infrastructure fund DIF Infra 3 Finance B.V., on the financing of the €1 billion A1/A6 Diemen-Muiderberg-Almere Havendreef motorway PPP project in the Netherlands. The project was financed through a combination of senior facilities, milestone and equity bridge facilities provided by commercial banks, including Japanese banks BTMU and SMBC, German lenders including NordLB, KfW, LBBW and Helaba, French bank Crédit Agricole CIB and Italian bank UniCredit. European Investment Bank also provided senior debt. Crédit Agricole CIB acted as security agent, facility and intercreditor agent. The transaction was selected as "2013 EMEA Road Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine.

Butendiek offshore wind farm, 2013

Represented wpd group as project developer and shareholder in the €937 million financing for the 288 MW Butendiek offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The wpd group is part of an investor group consisting of Marguerite Fund, Siemens Project Ventures, Industriens Pension and PKA. Valued at approximately €1.3 billion, this project was financed with €937 million in loans from a consortium led by KfW IPEX-Bank, UniCredit and Bremer Landesbank, and which also included the European Investment Bank, the Danish export credit insurance company EKF and nine commercial banks. The transaction was selected as "2013 European Power Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine and as "2013 European Offshore Wind Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine.

Publications

  • Florian Degenhardt and Dr. Beate Treibmann co-authored a chapter on "Security interests of the lenders in the financing of power grids" ("Sicherungsinteressen der Kreditgeber bei der Finanzierung von Stromleitungsnetzen") in the handbook "Power grids – legal and economic aspects" ("Stromleitungsnetze - rechtliche und wirtschaftliche Aspekte").

Awards & Recognition

Recommended Lawyer, The Legal 500 EMEA 2014

Project Finance – Germany