Ji Hoon Hong

Partner, Seoul

Biography

“Ji Hoon Hong is a well regarded asset finance partner, known for his expertise in structured debt capital markets transactions and asset-backed securitisations. Clients say he is “very thorough, and very creative in helping us figure out a pragmatic path to accomplishing our goals.””
Chambers Global 2017

Overview

Ji Hoon Hong is the Office Executive Partner of the Seoul office of White & Case and a partner in the Firm's Finance practice. He has extensive experience in a wide range of capital markets, bank finance and debt restructuring transactions. He has been focused on structured secured debt financings involving transportation equipment, especially aviation debt capital markets transactions such as Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates. Since his transfer to the Firm's Seoul office, he has also advised Korean financial institutions and corporate clients in a variety of financing, M&A/corporate and other matters. 

His experience also includes a broad range of capital markets transactions involving offerings of common or preferred stock, convertible debt, investment grade debt and high-yield debt and liability management transactions. In addition, he worked on syndicated credit facilities secured by aircraft, engines, spare parts, airport slots, vessels and other assets. His debt structuring experience includes cross-border private sector financial restructurings and sovereign debt restructurings (including Brazil, Ecuador and South Korea).

Mr. Hong is recognized by independent legal directories, including in the asset finance and leasing section of the Legal 500 – United States. Mr. Hong is also ranked as a leading lawyer for asset finance and aviation finance in Chambers Global and Chambers USA.

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Bars and Courts
Registered Foreign Legal Consultant, Korea
New York State Bar
Education
JD
Harvard University
SB
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Seoul National University
Languages
English
Korean

Experience

Merger filing before the European Commission
Representation of a major Korean corporation as the target in relation to a merger filing before the European Commission.

Acquisition financing of FSRU
Representation of The Export-Import Bank of Korea in the acquisition financing of an FSRU by a Turkish gas company supported by a repayment guarantee issued by the Turkish government.

Financial restructuring of Seadrill Limited and its subsidiaries
Representation of the coordinating committee of secured bank creditors in connection with a financial restructuring of Seadrill Limited and its subsidiaries with respect to the exposure of Korean export credit agencies.

United Arab Shipping Company / Hapag-Lloyd AG merger
Representation of United Arab Shipping Company in its merger with Hapag-Lloyd AG in connection with the amendments or restructurings of multiple container vessel financing facilities, including the restructuring of enhanced maritime trust certificates.

Korean banks' acquisition financing
Representation of The Export-Import Bank of Korea and The Korea Development Bank in connection with the commitment documents for an acquisition financing for a Korean company's bid for the acquisition of certain US petrochemical facilities.

Spirit Airlines / EETC Offering
Representation of Citigroup and Morgan Stanley in connection with a series of EETC offerings by Spirit Airlines as follows:

  • as joint structuring agents and joint lead bookrunners, in connection with the public offering and sale of US$576.6 million aggregate face amount of enhanced equipment trust certificates, series 2015-1, in two classes;
  • as joint structuring agents, joint lead bookrunners and underwriters and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Barclays Capital Inc. as joint bookrunners and underwriters in a public offering of US$ 420.5 million aggregate face amount of enhanced equipment trust certificates, series 2017-1, in three classes;
  • as joint lead structuring agents and joint lead placement agents, and then acting as investors' counsel, in a private placement of US$85.464 million aggregate face amount of Class C enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETC); and
  • as joint lead structuring agents and joint lead placement agents, and then acting as investors' counsel, in a private placement of US$115.235 million aggregate face amount of Class C enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETC).

Citibank and other lead arrangers in American Airlines' secured credit facilities
Representation of Citibank and the other lead arrangers in connection with American Airlines' main secured credit facilities secured by airport slots and other assets and multiple amendments and restatements thereof.

Delta Airlines / EETC Offering
Representation of Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse as the lead underwriters in connection with the offering of $500 million aggregate face amount of enhanced pass-through certificates by Delta Airlines, Inc.

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank / CIT Aviation Finance III Ltd.
Representation of Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank as the liquidity facility provider in connection with an aircraft portfolio securitization by CIT Aviation Finance III Ltd. involving the issuance of US$640 million aggregate principal amount of asset-backed notes.

 

Speaking Engagements

"Widening the ABS programme to tap the institutional investor base — is the yield high enough to attract Korean investors?", March 2017: Korea Airfinance Conference, (moderator)

 

Publications

A suspension of distrust: an alternate route to trust-building and denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula, International Bar Association (August 2019)

Growth sharing rights: the instrument to save the eurozone? ― opinion, International Financial Law Review, November 19, 2012

Enhanced Aircraft Debt Securitisation Structures, Commercial Aviation Report, May 1, 1997

Brazil's commercial bank debt restructured, International Financial Law Review, November 1994, (co-author)

 

Awards and Recognition

Leading Lawyer, The Legal 500 – United States 2014

Leading Lawyer, Chambers Global and Chambers USA 2013 - 2017