Prison PPP refinancing succeeds with Allens' advice

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A Victorian prison has become the first to tap the private placement market in the US with the help of Allens.

The top firm advised The Geo Consortium on its successful refinance of the Ravenhall Correctional Centre public-private partnership (PPP). The consortium revealed last month that it has closed the offering of $461.56m of non-recourse senior secured notes.

The 1,300-bed facility was designed and built and is being maintained and operated by the GEO Consortium under a contract with Victoria. The consortium includes The GEO Group Australia, Capella Capital, GEO Care, Honeywell, John Holland, and Forensicare.

Allens said that it advised the consortium throughout the whole lifecycle of the $700m project, having advised since the original development bid in 2013.

“While the transaction continues a trend for operating PPP projects accessing the US private placement market for longer term debt funding, it's the first custodial prison in Australia to access that market,” said Michael Ryan, partner and head of project finance.

“The Ravenhall Prison Project is a great example of our team's ability to service our clients as their needs evolve over the entire life of a project,” said David Donnelly, partner and head of infrastructure. “We've been there from day one – through the bid, construction and commissioning phases and now as the project transitions to steady a state of operation with an accompanying long-term debt solution.”

Ryan and Donnelly jointly headed the Allens deal team, which included managing associate Matthew Meyerink and associate Ben van Weel.

Michael Ryan and David Donnelly