White & Case Advises on New Refinancing Structure Using EIB's SDCE for German A8 Motorway
Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised a credit consortium consisting of mandated lead arrangers, banks and institutional investors on a new form of refinancing for the A8 motorway project in Germany.
The project, implemented as a public-private partnership, was refinanced for a total of €440 million through project bonds, bank loans and a new type of credit support from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The new instrument, Senior Debt Credit Enhancement (SDCE), is provided by the EIB to strengthen the credit quality for financings of infrastructure projects in the form of a funded subordinated loan. The SDCE replaces guarantees and is designed in particular to reduce the traffic risks of the project for the benefit of the senior creditors.
"The White & Case team successfully incorporated the EIB's new SDCE instrument into a refinancing package with project bonds and bank loans for the first time," said Hamburg-based partner Florian Degenhardt, who led the Firm's deal team. "I believe this financing structure will be a model for many more infrastructure projects in Europe."
Upon completion of the expansion of the A8 between Ulm and Augsburg, the refinancing will support the operation and maintenance of the new 58km section. The project company is Pansuevia, a subsidiary of HOCHTIEF PPP Solutions and STRABAG SE. The two companies were awarded the contract from the Federal Republic of Germany in 2011. Pansuevia will receive payments from the truck toll system calculated on the basis of traffic volume until 2041.
Further key components of the complex project financing include senior secured loans provided by KfW IPEX-Bank, NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank, SEB AG and Société Générale, and structured senior loans from the EIB. These are combined with senior secured project bonds in the form of German registered notes (Namensschuldverschreibungen) privately placed through UniCredit Bank AG as sole bookrunner and subscribed by institutional investors.
White & Case also advised UniCredit Bank AG as project agent and security agent for all creditors, sole bookrunner and as hedging coordinator. UniCredit Bank AG also acted as financial advisor.
The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partner Florian Degenhardt (Hamburg) and included partners Bodo Bender and Karsten Wöckener (both Frankfurt), local partners Veit Sahlfeld, Matthias Grigoleit and Carsten Lösing (all Hamburg), counsels Bernd Schneider, Beate Treibmann (both Hamburg) and Alexander Born (Frankfurt), and associates Karl-Alexander Neumann (Hamburg) and Cristina Freudenberger (Frankfurt).
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