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Herbert Smith Freehills advises lenders on SMA's £545m smart meter refinancing package

21 March 2022 | London
Deals and cases

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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised the lenders in connection with Smart Meter Assets' (SMA's) £545 million refinancing of the short-dated debt facilities raised at the time of the acquisition of SMA by Arcus Infrastructure Partners and GLIL Infrastructure in May 2021.

Founded in 2014, SMA is a leading UK meter asset provider with a portfolio of c.2 million electricity and gas smart meters which are leased to UK energy suppliers under long-term contracts.

The group of lenders comprises leading European banks, all with significant smart meter lending experience. The funding enables the continued roll-out of smart meters for SMA’s two key originating energy suppliers, OVO Energy and Utility Warehouse.

The refinancing was structured by way of a seven-year £510 million revolving capex facility and associated ancillary facilities, in addition to an accordion extension feature to allow the facilities to support new meter contract wins.

The financing maintains a green label issued under the Green Financing Framework put in place by SMA in February 2022. Issuing Green Finance instruments allows SMA to confirm that the assets funded are in compliance with its core values of enabling and accelerating the energy transition.

Completion of the refinancing was achieved on 14 March 2022.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by London finance partner David Wyles supported by senior associate Charlotte Whight, associate Angad Rekhi and trainee Zoe Asher. Nick Rutter and James Telford provided support on hedging. A Herbert Smith Freehills team led by partner Heather Culshaw with support from associate Will Beynon advised the outgoing lenders.

David Wyles commented: "We are pleased to have advised the lenders providing SMA with access to competitive, long-term debt financing to fund the installation of more smart meters, ultimately contributing to the UK's transition to a greener energy system."

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