Top firms help put together $616m financing for wind farm

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Gilbert + Tobin (G+T) and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) have confirmed their roles in securing a standalone project financing for a major wind farm in South Australia.

G+T advised Tilt Renewables in securing the package for the operational Snowtown 2 Wind Farm. The five-year $616m debt facilities were put together by a syndicate of eight domestic and international banks, which was counselled by HSF.

G+T said that it advised on all aspects of the transaction, including project documentation and land arrangements. Its team was jointly headed by banking and infrastructure partners Adela Smith and Alex Danne, corporate partner Neil Pathak, and property partner Amanda Hempel.

Proceeds of the facilities allowed Tilt Renewables to retire $483m of existing corporate-portfolio debt, which is a milestone for the company, lead G+T partner Adela Smith said. That allowed Tilt Renewables to separate the Snowtown 2 Wind Farm from corporate-level financing arrangements into a separate operational wind farm, she said.

The G+T team also included senior consultant Lisa Hamilton; special counsel Caroline Mathie; senior lawyers Sachini Mandawala and Keara Stretton; lawyers Felix Buddee, Chris Tohme, Tiffany Sorge, and Harrison Custance; and graduate Annabel Kirkby.

HSF said that the syndicate it advised was formed by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, BNP Paribas, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Agricole, MUFG Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), Societe Generale, and Westpac Banking Corporation. NAB also acted as agent and security trustee.

The HSF finance team was headed by finance partners Gerard Pike and Jon Evans. They were supported by projects partner Alison Dodd, senior associates Caroline Rowe, Jennifer Brightling, and David Ong, solicitors Olivia Mitchell, Ellen Gandy and Will Kennedy, graduate JX Zheng, and paralegal Jana Mavroidakos.

HSF also fielded another team, headed by finance partner Miles Wadley, which acted for the portfolio debt financiers for the corporate portfolio debt that was retired. Wadley was supported by solicitors Beryl Yan and Stephen Fitzpatrick and graduate Luke Kavanagh. Wadley also led the team that acted for another syndicate in the financing of Tilt Renewables’ new Waipipi Wind Farm in New Zealand. G+T also advised Tilt Renewables on that deal.

Finlaysons Lawyers was the South Australian counsel for Tilt Renewables, with Russell McVeagh providing New Zealand law expertise, G+T said.