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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Westpac, as arranger, and a number of institutional lenders including superannuation funds and asset managers in relation to a A$214 million long-term debt raising for the Visy Group.

This was the first time some of these institutional investors have participated in the Australian debt market and the first syndicated loan by Australian institutional investors.

Long-term debt provided by institutional lenders is common in the US, however it is only starting to gain traction now in Australia with one of the first transactions occurring in early 2017, where Visy raised A$150m of 10 year long-term debt with AustralianSuper and IFM Investors.

This successful transaction brings Australia one step closer to creating an active institutional loan market and unlocking a large pool of long-term debt funding for Australian businesses.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by finance partner Andrew Booth, who was supported by senior associate Josie Essery and graduate Angie Wong.

“We are delighted to be able to assist Westpac and the institutional lenders to achieve a successful outcome for all involved,” Mr Booth said.

“This is an important milestone for the finance sector and we are excited to see the potential growth of the Australian institutional loan market.”

Arnold Bloch Leibler advised Visy on the transaction.