White & Case Transactions Win Four Trade Finance Deal of the Year Awards
White & Case advised on four Deal of the Year awards from Trade Finance magazine. The annual awards recognize innovation and achievement in the trade finance market. Nominations are submitted by banks, law firms and other deal participants and evaluated by the Trade Finance editorial team.
Freeport LNG – Train 1. We are representing Freeport LNG, as sponsor, in the debt and equity financings of the first three liquefaction trains of Freeport LNG’s multi-train natural gas liquefaction facility, to be co-located with its existing regasification facility at Quintana Island in Texas. Total project costs are projected to exceed US$15 billion. The financing of three separately owned trains with staged construction is highly complex with multiple layers of project-on-project risk. To meet the challenges of this mandate, we developed a wide array of innovative structures; in particular, a unique joint funding arrangement among the owners of the separate trains that effectively insulates the lenders from the project-on-project risk related to the funding of more than US$2 billion in shared facilities. This structure enabled the project financing of each of the train facilities on a separate basis. Project costs of the US$5.32 billion Train 1 are being split 75/25 between debt and equity.
Chilean Metro de Santiago. We represented Empresa de Transporte de Pasajeros Metro S.A., the state-owned owner and operator of the subway system in Santiago, Chile, in the US$1.3 billion financing for the construction of new subway lines and improvements on existing lines. According to Trade Finance, "the overall project is one of the largest ever in Chile, with unique financing in place” and "it is the first time ECA financing has taken place in the country since it was upgraded by the OECD."
Itaú Unibanco – We represented Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in its US$400 million loan to Itaú Unibanco to fund its lending to small and medium-sized enterprises, primarily those located in northern and northeastern Brazil. The deal consisted of a club of two institutions (Wells Fargo and OPIC) providing a large co-financing facility, which comprised a hybrid loan and placement in the US capital markets under OPIC’s funding structure.
Middle East and Africa
Caracal Energy. We represented the lending group comprising Natixis, Société Générale, London Branch, ING Belgium NV/SA and Galena Commodity Trade Finance Master Fund Limited and Federated Project and Trade Finance Core Fund in connection with a senior secured reserve based facility to PetroChad Mangara Limited (a subsidiary of Caracal Energy) for up to US$250 million in the Republic of Chad. According to Trade Finance, "This transaction was the first syndicated bank financing for Caracel Energy and the first reserve based financing transaction in Chad," and "sets a precedent and should lead to other reserved based transactions in the region."