Sean Johnson | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Sean Johnson
Sean Johnson

Sean Johnson

Partner, Washington, DC

T +1 212 819 8511 (New York)

T +1 202 626 3614 (Washington, DC)

E sjohnson@whitecase.com

Sean Johnson is an innovative, award-winning partner in the Firm’s EIPAF group.

Overview

Sean's practice focuses on high yield debt, including high yield bonds, incurrence covenant loans and corporate restructurings; project finance, including project bonds and traditional bank finance; and Middle Eastern debt and equity offerings, including sovereign and quasi-sovereign issuances.

He collaborates closely with our bank finance and project finance teams to deliver innovative and integrated financing solutions to our clients. As an experienced team leader, he works with global teams to steer highly complex international transactions to completion.

Prior to joining White & Case in 2010, Sean practiced in the London and Los Angeles offices of another leading international law firm, where he worked with clients including the State of Qatar, RasGas, Nakilat, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse.

Bars and Courts

  • California State Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar

Education

  • JD, UCLA School of Law
  • Georgetown University

Languages

  • English

Experience

Transmisora Electrica del Norte, 2016

Representation of the senior lenders and fixed rate note purchasers in the long-term financing for Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte S.A.'s development of a 600 km electricity transmission line and related substations connecting the Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC) and the Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande (SING) of Chile, which will unify most of the country’s power grid.

Freeport LNG Train 2 and 3 Project Bonds, 2016

Representation of Freeport LNG in more than US$16 billion of cash equity, mezzanine debt, senior secured bank financings, interest rate hedging transactions and project bond issuances for the first three trains of the Freeport LNG multi–train natural gas liquefaction facility at Quintana Island in Texas. The individual trains comprising the facility are separately owned and financed by subsidiaries of Freeport LNG.  To date, our representation has included: a US$925 million mezzanine financing in lieu of equity for train 3; a US$1.25 billion issuance under Rule 144A of investment grade project bonds to partially refinance the commercial bank financing of train 2; and a follow–on US$600 million private placement of such investment grade bonds.

Meerwind Offshore Wind Farm, 2015

Representation of an international syndicate of noteholders, lenders and institutional investors on the €1 billion structured refinancing of German offshore wind farm 'Meerwind', operated by WindMW and controlled by private equity investor Blackstone. It is the first placement of senior secured green bonds for an operational German offshore wind farm and one of the largest issues of green bonds in recent years.

MPM's US$200 million debut offering in the international high yield bond market, 2014

Representation of Deutsche Bank AG as the sole bookrunner and lead manager of PT Mitra Pinasthika Mustika Tbk (MPM)'s debut offering in the international high yield bond market. The Indonesian motorcycle distributor and automotive company issued US$200 million, 6.75% Senior Notes due 2019 through its wholly owned subsidiary MPM Global Pte. Ltd. The notes are guaranteed by MPM and certain of its subsidiaries.

The Republic of Indonesia's offering of US$1.5 billion sukuk certificates, 2013

Sean led the team that advised the Republic of Indonesia in the largest-ever US dollar-denominated Sukuk offering in Asia. The issuance of US$1.5 billion, 6.125 percent Trust Certificates due 2019 reflected the global investment community's strong support for Indonesia's international Sukuk issues, even against a background of volatile markets. The deal won Best Sovereign Bond at FinanceAsia's Achievement Awards in 2013, which recognize the best deals from each of the main markets in Asia.

Ruwais Power Company's US$825,000,000 bonds issuance, 2013

In the first project bond offering in the Middle East independent power sector, Sean led the team that represented Ruwais Power Company PJSC and its sponsors in connection with the Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$825 million senior secured bonds due 2036, and the related refinancing of the US$2.3 billion Shuweihat 2 IWPP. The project bond clearly illustrated that the capital markets are a viable source of financing for infrastructure projects, and provided a precedent for others to follow, both in the Middle East and in Europe.

ECGD's offering of US$302 million notes, 2013

Sean represented ECGD in connection with its guarantee of the Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$302 million notes due 2024 issued by MAS A330 Cayman I Limited, to finance four Airbus A330-300 aircraft on lease to Malaysian Airline System Berhad.

Qatar Petroleum's JPY 85 billion samurai bond offering, 2012

Working closely with partners in Tokyo, Sean advised Qatar Petroleum on its JPY 85 billion (approximately US$1 billion) samurai bond offering in Japan. This was Qatar Petroleum's first ever Japanese yen bond offering and the first yen bond offering by a Qatari entity. The transaction enabled Qatar Petroleum to reach a new class of investors.

The State of Qatar's US$4 billion Sukuk issuance, 2012

Sean jointly led the team that advised the State of Qatar in connection with the US$4 billion Sukuk issuance by SoQ Sukuk A Q.S.C. The offering was the largest US dollar-denominated Sukuk issuance to date, and was comprised of a US$2 million tranche of trust certificates and a further tranche of US$2 billion trust certificates. The transaction showed the strength of investor confidence in the State of Qatar and represented a significant milestone in the development of the sukuk market.

The State of Qatar's offering of US$5 billion sovereign bonds, 2011

Sean advised the State of Qatar in connection with its Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$5 billion sovereign bonds, the biggest issuance from the Gulf region in 2011. The transaction won an award in EMEA Finance magazine's annual round of Achievement Awards as Best Sovereign Bond in EMEA. The proceeds of the offering allowed the State of Qatar to fund various infrastructure projects in Qatar, supported the continued growth of Qatar's hydrocarbon sector and provided additional funding for State-owned entities.

Siemens Enterprise Communications' €200 million 10.75% senior secured notes, 2010

Sean advised Jefferies, UBS and Wells Fargo, as joint book-running managers, in connection with a Rule 144A/Regulation S offering by Siemens Enterprise Communications of €200 million 10.75% senior secured notes due 2015, guaranteed by Enterprise Networks Holdings B.V. and 16 of its subsidiaries in 10 jurisdictions. Siemens Enterprise Communications is a leading global provider of communications-related products and services to enterprises, including businesses, government agencies and other organizations.

US$1 billion debt restructuring for Almatis, 2010

Sean advised GSO Capital Partners, as lead investor, and a consortium of co-investors, in a multi-tranche US$410 million and €110 million secured private high yield Chapter 11 exit financing in the US$1 billion debt restructuring for Almatis, the world's largest alumina company, in one of the longest running restructurings in Europe.

Awards & Recognition

Leading Lawyer, Chambers Global 2014

Capital Markets: Debt – United Arab Emirates