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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised MUFG Bank, Ltd., (MUFG) on the A$140 million ‘Samurai’ refinancing of the Waterloo Wind Farm. 

Under the terms of the refinancing, MUFG has been appointed sole mandated lead arranger, underwriter, bookrunner and swap provider for the term loan facility which will be syndicated to a group of Japanese banks (hence the ‘Samurai’ name).

The tenor of the newly refinanced facilities is more than 11 years, which is significantly longer than the debt tenor typically offered or achieved in the commercial bank debt market for wind and solar farms in Australia.

The Waterloo Wind Farm is an operating wind farm located in South Australia. The facility has 43 Vestas wind turbines with an installed capacity of over 130MW, which generates enough clean energy to supply electricity to more than 50,000 homes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 335,000 tonnes annually. The wind farm commenced operation in November 2010.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner Gerard Pike with assistance from senior associate Owen Alcorn and solicitors Olivia Mitchell and Frank Wang.

Herbert Smith Freehills partner Gerard Pike said, “This transaction is a great example of the trend of overseas banks with full service offerings in the Australian market being able to provide very competitive and innovative financing terms to Australian projects.”

“It was a pleasure to work closely with the MUFG team in achieving financial close on this ground breaking transaction,” he said.

KWM advised the sponsors Palisade Investment Partners and Northleaf Capital on the refinancing.

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

  • Tilt Renewables on the project development of the 336MW Dundonnell Wind Farm;
  • Total Eren in respect of the development of the 256MW Stage 1 of the Kiamal Solar Farm in Victoria; and
  • The financiers on the refinancing of the Hallett 4 Wind Farm in South Australia.