Onshore Wind

WFW advises bank syndicate on Andasol debt optimisation

5 July 2016


International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has successfully advised a banking syndicate led by Banco Sabadell, S.A. (“Banco Sabadell”) on the debt optimisation of the Andasol 1 and 2 thermosolar plants with a total installed capacity of 100MW in Guadix, Granada, Spain.

The Andasol plants, originally financed with €500M in 2016, are owned by Antin Infrastructure Partners, Deustche Asset & Wealth Management and Spain’s Group Cobra (ACS).

As a result of regulatory changes to the Spanish energy sector introduced in 2012 and 2014, the plants’ owners opted for equity and financial debt optimisation. The transaction principally involved the entrance of new financing from a European infrastructure fund, as well as the novation of the initial financing involving debt tranche redesign, as well as both amortisation schedules and margins changes.

In addition to the European Investment Bank (BEI) and the Spanish Export Credit Agency (ICO), the banking syndicate included domestic commercial banks such as Banco Sabadell (as agent and creditor entity), Dexia Sabadell, S.A. Unipersonal, Catalunya Banc, S.A. and Unicaja Banco, S.A, as well as international banks Bayerische Landesbank, Landesbank Hessen Thüringen Girozentrale, BNP Paribas Fortis SA NV, and Portigon AG o Dexia Crédit (Dublin Branch), and the previously mentioned infrastructure fund.

The WFW Madrid team advising the syndicate was led by Madrid Banking & Finance Head Rodrigo Berasategui, assisted by senior associate José María Anarte and associate Juan Vicente Barquilla.

The transaction has been designed and structured by Spanish BNP Paribas team, who has coordinated the practical transaction issues as financial advisor.

Rodrigo commented: “Advising both banking syndicate on this deal was extremely challenging for us, since in order to accommodate the needs of the different parties in such a complex and technically innovative transaction, we had to provide equally complex and technically innovative solutions”.

Furthermore, I’m delighted to see both local and international banks backing Spanish renewable energy projects, as well as seeing infrastructure and energy funds playing a greater role in the sector, improving the financing and refinancing options available to projects. The transaction also demonstrates once again WFW’s status as one of the leading law firms in Spain for renewables in general and thermosolar in particular”.