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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised a syndicate of banks on the provision to Macquarie Group Limited of £2 billion (approximately $AUD3.53 billion) loan facilities, including two green loan tranches. The syndicate includes The Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC), ING Bank N.V., Sydney Branch (ING) and Bank of China Limited as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners, with HSBC and ING as green structuring advisers.

Macquarie is the first financial institution globally, and the first Australian company, to issue a green loan under the APLMA Green Loan Principles. The Green Loan Principles comprise voluntary guidelines to address key areas of environmental concern and have been developed by the Loan Market Association and the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association. Their aim is to promote the development and integrity of green loan products in order to support environmentally sustainable economic activity.

£500 million of the facilities will be used by Macquarie to support renewable energy projects, energy efficiency, waste management, green buildings and clean transportation projects. Each project will have clear, quantifiable and measurable environmental benefits.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner Erin Wakelin, supported by senior associate Emma Zarb and solicitor Yun Yong.

Ms Wakelin said: “We are delighted to have assisted the syndicate of banks on Australia’s first facility to adopt the Green Loan Principles. This is a significant milestone in the green loans market in Australia. It demonstrates the appetite of commercial lenders in Australia and Asia for these products and Macquarie's commitment to reducing Australia's impact on climate change.”

King & Wood Mallesons were the legal advisers to Macquarie Group Limited.

This deal is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading work in the Australian renewable energy industry. Other recent examples include:

  • advising MUFG Bank, Ltd., Societe Generale and Mizuho Bank, Ltd. on the financing of the Beryl Solar Farm, developed by First Solar and located five kilometres west of Gulgong in New South Wales;
  • advising Kennedy Energy Park Pty Ltd in relation to the construction, offtake, grid connection and project financing of the Kennedy Energy Park, the first renewable energy project in Australia to combine wind and solar with battery storage and feed power into the national electricity grid; and
  • advising Acciona on its successful bid to acquire one of Australia’s largest solar projects, the 265MW(AC) Aldoga solar farm in Gladstone, Queensland.