An energy and infrastructure team, led by David Wyles and Silke Goldberg, has advised Transmission Capital Partners (TCP), a joint venture between International Public Partnerships, Amber Infrastructure Group and Transmission Investment, on the financing and acquisition (for £298 million) of the transmission link to the 402MW Dudgeon offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Norfolk in the UK.
To date, OFTOs have been financed using a variety of debt instruments with the European Investment Bank (EIB) supporting all of these. This transaction, however, is the first ever OFTO to be financed without EIB support and with senior debt being provided solely through a public bond. It is also the first bond-financed OFTO to reach successful financial close since 2015. Approximately 90% of the acquisition costs will be funded via the issuance of public bonds, with the rest coming from equity invested by TCP.
We have supported TCP throughout the tender process, from their bid submission stage in March 2017 to the award of preferred bidder status in November 2017 and through to financial close which occurred earlier this month. The firm continues to advise TCP on its ongoing bids for further OFTOs under Tender Rounds 5 as well as for the Walney extension.
The core HSF team including Keith Gamble, Mark Dickinson and Rakhee Patel (senior associates) on the bond financing and Martin Bittner (senior associate), Kate Laidlow-Singh and Lizzie Gadsby (associates) on the due diligence of the OFTO assets and negotiation of operation and maintenance agreement and transfer agreements, were supported by a wider team of specialists including, Julie Vaughan and Helena Mouratov (environment), James Gibson (planning) and Nick Rutter (hedging).
Another significant work-stream for the transaction was Real Estate, led by Julian Pollock and Ruth Benfield (senior associate). Due to the nature of the transaction (with both onshore and offshore land interests), a number of third party landowners were involved, as well as The Crown Estate.
David Wyles, lead finance partner on the transaction commented "This was an exciting transaction to be involved in and demonstrates our ability to field a team of genuine industry and practice area specialists to support clients on their investment activities in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Over the past few years, the global firm has advised on some of the largest projects and transactions in the renewable energy sector as the emphasis on generating green energy globally becomes ever stronger."