Australia: Norton Rose Fulbright acts on bond financing of world’s largest coal port facility
Last Updated: 23 December 2013

Norton Rose Fulbright has acted on the infrastructure bonds that have refinanced part of the existing bank debt relating to the Adani-owned Abbot Point Coal Terminal No: 1 that services the vast Bowen and Galilee coal basins. On 10 December the Australian Government announced approval of the expansion of the Abbott Point coal port facility which will be the world's largest when the expansion is completed.

The refinancing was partly funded by the issuance of BBB-rated senior notes with a face value of $500 million.

Norton Rose Fulbright partner Tessa Hoser said: "This is a significant deal in bringing debt capital markets funding to support a critical piece of mining and commodities infrastructure. Regulatory capital-driven pricing has made this kind of bond funding more attractive and in this case, it was notable that a BBB-rated bond was issued without any third-party credit enhancement – something rarely seen even prior to the financial crisis."

Deutsche Bank, CBA and Westpac acted as joint lead managers. Norton Rose Fulbright acted for BTA Institutional Services Australia Limited as security trustee and BNY Mellon as note trustee, note principal paying agent, note agent bank and note registrar.

"Given that the existing debt was also being refinanced by new bank debt, the transaction involved complex intercreditor and security enforcement provisions", commented Vittorio Casamento, the Norton Rose Fulbright Special Counsel, who co-led the transaction.

This transaction follows the very recent €3 billion EMTN program established by the operator of Melbourne Airports, where Norton Rose Fulbright again acted on behalf of BNY Mellon.

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