Ashurst sees increasing diversification of corporate financiers

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Ashurst has said that it is witnessing the increasing diversification of corporate financiers in the Australian market.

The top firm has successfully advised IFM Investors, Australian Super and Cbus, with Westpac as arranger, on the 10-year $100m debt facility recently extended to Essendon Airport. With the deal, the financiers join a syndicate of lenders to Essendon Fields.

With the debt facility, Essendon Fields gained greater capital certainty. It also enables the business district to continue development of its airport and business park.

Ashurst said that it has recently acted as counsel to Australian super funds and foreign pension funds as financiers lending directly to Australia's corporate sector. The greater diversification of corporate financiers has resulted in more friendly terms for borrowers, the top firm said.

“The direct lend into Essendon Airport by IFM Investors, Australian Super and Cbus demonstrates the growing role super funds can play in the current credit environment for the right corporate,” said partner Martin Coleman, who led the Ashurst team on the deal. “It also highlights how much capital the super funds have at their disposal, and how they are increasingly looking beyond traditional investment strategies to generate a return for their members. This is the third significant direct Australian super fund lend in the past two months we have had the pleasure of advising on, with the others in the services and infrastructure sectors.”

Coleman was supported by senior associate Madeleine de Garis and lawyer Anthony Pitruzzello.