Trio of top firms acts on US$634m refinancing

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Three of Australia’s largest commercial firms acted on the US$634m refinancing of a coal export terminal in New South Wales.

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) acted for BHP on the refinance of the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group’s (NCIG) coal export terminal in the Port of New Castle. NCIG, partly owned by BHP, was advised by Ashurst and the lenders were advised by Allens.

The complex refinancing included various interconnected debt instruments, debt tranches, and currencies, HSF said. It could also encourage refinancing of Australian coal projects.

“This successful refinancing could inject confidence into mining companies with exposure to coal assets, which may encourage future refinances in relation to existing Australian coal projects,” said Lucy McCullagh, HSF’s lead partner on the deal.

McCullagh was assisted by senior associate Josie Essery, solicitor Nicola Morris, and graduate James Paolucci. McCullagh, who has extensive experience in mining sector financing, has advised BHP since its first investment in the NCIG export terminal.

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