Retail deal makes corporate history

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An Australian firm has made history by acting for a syndicate of 20 lenders in the $22 billion debt financing of retail giant Westfield.  

The deal will allow the shopping centre group to carry out its restructuring plans. It also follows a recent wave of re-financing deals that have occurred on the back of improved liquidity and more favourable pricing due to competition between lenders.

The firm advising on the deal, Allens, was led by partner Diccon Loxton and senior associate Jo Folan. The firm advised the syndicate, which secured $22 billion of funding commitments including the biggest bridge facility in Australian corporate history.
The bridge facility includes a $14 billion two-year bridge (with an option to extend a further 12 months) and $8 billion of two-to-six year bank facilities. 
The refinancing will enable Westfield Group to complete its restructure and merge its Australian and New Zealand business with Westfield Retail Trust. 
Documents have been signed but closing is not scheduled until June 2014.
Once completed, the Westfield Group and the Westfield Retail Trust Group will be restructured to establish two new groups – Westfield Corporation for international operations, and Scentre Group for Australian and New Zealand operations.