22 June 2017
WFW is delighted to announce that two deals the firm advised on have been named in The TXF Chronicle’s prestigious ‘Perfect 10’ Project / ECA Finance Deals of the Year 2016.
Named Shipping Finance Deal of the Year was the financing of Virgin Voyages’ three inaugural 2,850 berth, 110,000 gross ton cruise ships, marking its entry into the booming cruise sector. The transaction is the largest ECA-backed non-recourse deal for a start-up cruise line to date, comprising around US$2bn of ECA-covered non-recourse debt and US$800m of combined equity. The London-based WFW team advising Virgin Voyages was led by Finance Partner and WFW Chairman Nigel Thomas, alongside Partners Robert Platt and Richard Stephens, Senior Associates Marzena Legezynska and Juan Sierra and Associate Rob Firth.
The second deal, which was named Overall ECA Finance Deal of the Year, was advising India’s Reliance Industries on a US$573m loan facility to finance the construction of six very large ethane carriers (VLECs) to transport 1.5million tonnes of ethane from the US to Reliance’s petrochemicals plant in Gujarat. This particular deal has garnered significant recognition throughout the sector for 2016, having won a number of high-profile awards in addition to this inclusion in TXF’s Perfect 10.
A multi-jurisdictional WFW team advised Reliance from the firm’s offices in London, Singapore, Dubai and New York. The overall team was led by Nigel Thomas in London, supported by Senior Associate Daniel Saunders (from 1 May 2017 a Partner) on the shipbuilding contracts and commercial arrangements with MOL in particular. The Singapore team was led by Asset Finance Partner Mei Lin Goh and supported by Senior Associate Yuko Hurley. In Dubai, the team comprised Finance Partner Andrew Baird and Senior Associate Michael Savva and, in New York, Finance Partner Leo Chang.
One of the key publications in its sector, The TXF Chronicle received around 1,500 nominations for consideration between two categories that each recognise 10 of the most significant and influential deals of 2016.