27 March 2012
Watson, Farley & Williams (“WFW”), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that it has advised Teekay LNG Partners L.P. and Marubeni Corporation on their successful joint venture bid and US$1.33 billion purchase of Maersk LNG A/S, the holding company within A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S, for its fleet of eight LNG carriers.
The vessels acquired are flagged on Danish, Marshall Islands and Singapore flag and are on charter to entities including Pluto LNG, Total, Yemen LNG, Qatar Gas and Repsol and BP. The disposal by A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S marks its exit from the LNG transportation sector.
The acquisition was part financed by equity contributions from Teekay and Marubeni, and financed by bridge loan facilities made available by two separate syndicates of banks, one led by DNB Bank ASA and another by Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. in a total amount exceeding US$1 billion.
Partner Nigel Thomas from London led the WFW team, which included other partners Mark Tooke leading on corporate advice, Emanuela Lecchi leading on competition law advice, and teams from other WFW offices led by partners Lindsey Keeble (Paris), Dan Rodgers (New York), and Peter Chean (Singapore). Danish law firm Plesner provided Danish law advice to the Teekay and Marubeni joint venture. Gorrissen Federspiel advised A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S on the share sale. The lenders were advised by Stephenson Harwood and Kromann Reumert.
Nigel Thomas, partner and Head of Shipping at WFW, said: “This deal represents TeekayLNG’s largest acquisition of on-the-water vessels to date, and we were very pleased to advise this longstanding client of ours. For WFW, it was a major multi-jurisdictional deal which drew on all our strengths. It demonstrates that even in this challenging environment for raising significant bank credit, there will be bank debt available for major commercial consolidation to take place, and this is the kind of acquisition and financing where WFW is pre-eminently placed to assist clients.”