Australia: Norton Rose Fulbright advises on three impressive Australian infrastructure transactions in 2015
Last Updated: 9 July 2015

Norton Rose Fulbright's national infrastructure team has acted on three premier Australian infrastructure deals in the last six months, at a time when government, corporate and investor interest in major health, transport and telecommunications projects is rising.

Lawyers spanning Sydney and Melbourne-based banking & finance and corporate teams came together to advise on AMP Capital's acquisition of Royal North Shore Hospital, the financing for the Sydney Light Rail Project, and the Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) consortium's acquisition of Crown Castle Australia.

These high profile and complex transactions were three of the largest by deal value in the infrastructure space so far this year and reflect the healthy pipeline of deals being done in Australia.

Sydney corporate partners Nigel Deed and Adrian Ahern led the $1 billon-plus acquisition of debt and equity interests by AMP Capital of RNS Hospital from RBS; and the $2 billion acquisition of Crown Castle by MIRA, UBS Infrastructure and UniSuper. Crown Castle is the largest independent owner of mobile telecom towers in Australia, while RNS is a leading hospital in NSW and was structured via a public-private partnership.

Banking and finance partners Chris Redden (Sydney) and Jo Crew (Melbourne) led the financing of the RNS deal, with Redden also leading the financing on the Crown Castle deal, which was completed with the assistance of TMT / regulatory partner Dr Martyn Taylor and real estate partner Nick Afaras (Sydney).

Jo Crew, who is national co-head of infrastructure and a project finance partner, also led the team advising the financiers - Banco Santander, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Agricole CIB Australia, The Bank of Nova Scotia Asia and United Overseas Bank – on the successful $2.1 billion ALTRAC Light Rail Consortium bid for the Sydney Light Rail Project.

Norton Rose Fulbright partner Nigel Deed commented:

"These three deals demonstrate the strength and depth of the national Norton Rose Fulbright infrastructure team and our broad experience in advising some of Australia's leading financial institutions on landmark transactions. We expect the current local and global interest in Australian infrastructure and the political will to drive infrastructure investment, especially in NSW, to result in continuing high levels of deal activity in this space."

Norton Rose Fulbright partner Chris Redden commented:

"The pipeline of deals in Australia is extremely strong and offers huge potential for the Australian economy, and for NSW in particular. The multiples being received by vendors are driving vendors to pursue privatisation and sale programs across a broad range of assets including pipelines, airports, ports, gas storage as well as in the renewable energy space. This is in addition to the massive greenfield infrastructure pipeline which includes the mega projects such as Victoria's $11 billion Metro Rail project, the $10 billion Sydney Metro project and the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek."

Norton Rose Fulbright partner Jo Crew commented:

"Presenting with others at the peak of the industry at The Australian Financial Review's National Infrastructure Summit on June 12, it was clear that there was a lot of excitement about the pipeline of recent and future deals in Australia. Although there can often be hurdles to overcome with any project, our experience with the Sydney Light Rail Project in particular shows that complex financing can be overcome when the right people are in place."

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