25 June 2016
International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) is delighted to announce that it has advised on Trade & Export Finance (“TXF”) magazine’s “Best ECA-Backed Shipping Financing 2015”, announced at the TXF annual awards.
In a deal that could set a precedent for future cruise ship deals, WFW advised Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (“RCCL”) on its US$1.26bn export credit agency (ECA)‐backed loan with shipbuilder STX France to finance the construction of Oasis IV– an Oasis class cruise ship spanning 16 decks and able to carry 5,479 passengers – in Saint‐Nazaire. The highly innovative buyer’s credit agreement closed in January 2015 and beneﬁts from 100% commercial cover from French ECA Coface.
Citi acted as bookrunner, facility and ECA agent. Mandated lead arrangers on the deal were Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Santander Bank, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporaĕon.
The WFW team advising RCCL featured London-based Finance Senior Associate Marzena Legezynska, along with WFW Paris Asset Finance Partner Laurence Martinez-Ballet and Associate Olivier Challine, led by Martin Watson, who said: “Royal Caribbean is a long-standing client of WFW and we are very pleased to have advised them on this landmark deal, which demonstrates the firm’s status as a leading advisor for both ECA and cruise sector deals”.