Christian heads White & Case's 300-lawyer-strong Latin America Practice Group. He advises clients on international joint ventures, M&A activity, secured lending and equipment finance transactions with a focus on the aviation sector.
He has represented export credit agencies, buyers, sellers, lenders, lessors and lessees in an array of major transactions, guiding his clients through what can be a highly complex and technical process. Christian's advisory practice has a particular focus on the airline industry; and he has developed both a deep knowledge of this sector and strong relationships with a number of airlines.
He has considerable experience in advising clients on aircraft and spare engine financing transactions, as well as on complex asset-backed financings. He has worked with state-owned export credit agencies, airlines, aircraft lessors, banks and other financial institutions.
Christian's understanding of aircraft finance transactions and the aviation industry in general has led to numerous engagements by airlines, providing strategic advice in connection with their most important financial and operational contracts. His work in this area includes a number of several cross-border investment and joint venture transactions. He was also heavily involved in the negotiation and implementation of some of the first long-term "power by the hour" maintenance arrangements involving non-US airlines.
In addition, Christian has worked very closely with his airline clients on their strategic alliance arrangements. He is frequently called upon to advise clients on code-share agreements, maintenance joint ventures, loyalty program implementation and spin-offs, and similar matters.
Avianca's JOLCO UKEF-financing
Representation of Avianca, the national airline of Colombia, in connection with a US$100 million loan guaranteed by UK Export Finance (UKEF) to finance one Boeing 787-8 aircraft for Avianca, which was structured as a Japanese Operating Lease with call option (JOLCO). This matter was Avianca's first JOLCO UKEF-financed aircraft and the first in Latin America. This financing was awarded "JOLCO Deal of the Year" for Latin America by Global Transport Finance and "Latin America Deal of the Year" by Airfinance Journal.
Aeroméxico's JOLCO financing
Representation of Aeroméxico in its JOLCO financing of three 787-9 aircraft with three different debt and equity syndicates. The initial financing was the first JOLCO of a wide-body aircraft for a Latin America carrier, and Aeroméxico's first financing in the Asia Pacific region, allowing the airline to diversify its source of funding. This transaction was named "Tax Lease Deal of the Year" by Airfinance Journal.
Aeroméxico's chapter 11 case
Representation of Aeroméxico on its chapter 11 case, where we acted as Designated Aircraft Finance Counsel and assisted the airline with the restructuring of the financing of its entire fleet of aircraft.
BNDES's ANPI-covered financing
Representation of Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES), on a joint financing with the Aircraft Finance Insurance Consortium (AFIC) for six Embraer S.A. Model ERJ 170-200 LR aircrafts. Agência Especial de Financiamento Industrial – FINAME (FINAME), an affiliate of BNDES, acted as the lender and provided a secured loan facility, covered by AFIC's aircraft non-payment insurance (ANPI) policy issued by AXIS Specialty Europe SE, London Branch. This transaction marked the first time a development bank structured its loan utilizing ANPI cover; and a US airline borrowed under an ANPI-covered financing.
Aeroméxico's first-in-kind aircraft financing facility
Representation of Aeroméxico as borrower and Grupo Aeroméxico S.A.B. de C.V. (GAM) as guarantor, in connection with an aircraft financing facility provided by J.P. Morgan Europe Limited (JPMorgan), acting as agent, and insured by the Swiss export credit facility SERV. Schweizerische Exportrisikoversicherung (SERV). This is the first time commercial insurance was used as an alternative to a guarantee from SERV. The financing was provided to Aeroméxico and was used to partially finance maintenance contracts with SR Technics Switzerland AG (SRT) in connection with CFM 56 engines used for Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft.
Waypoint leasing bankruptcy
Representation of the debtors as special counsel in the Waypoint Leasing bankruptcy proceedings, including the coordination of the sale of more than 125 aircraft on lease to 42 lessees in 31 different jurisdictions.
BNDES creditor claims matters
Representation of BNDES in the following matters:
- as largest aircraft creditor with aggregate claims of $1.141 billion secured by, among other things, 80 Embraer-manufactured aircraft and related assets, in the Republic Airlines chapter 11 case; and
- as largest aircraft creditor with aggregate claims of $1.75 billion secured by, among other things, 216 Embraer-manufactured aircraft and related assets, in the chapter 11 case of American Airlines.
Band 2: Transportation: Aviation: Finance
Chambers USA 2022
Recommended Lawyer: Equipment Finance Law
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