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WFW deals win big at IJGlobal Deal of the Year Awards 202210 March 2023

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Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) is delighted to announce that four deals the firm advised on have won awards at the prestigious IJGlobal Deal of the Year Awards 2022.

WFW advised Alpha Trains on its raising of €548m in a combination of senior and HoldCo level secured bank debt within its existing common terms financing platform. The entirety of this deal comprised ‘green’ finance, in line with Alpha Trains’ sustainability framework and was named Refinancing Deal of the Year – Transport – Europe.

The WFW team advising Alpha Trains was led by London Assets and Structured Finance Partner Louise Mor, supported by Senior Associate Sarah Lunn, Associates Alice LightfootStella StathisAlexander Kyriacou and Sadhika Shegar, and Trainee Ellen Mackie. Partners Frederik Lorenzen in Frankfurt, Alfredo Cabellos in Madrid, Mario D’Ovidio in Milan and Philippe Monfort in Paris led teams providing local law advice in their respective jurisdictions.

The award for Refinancing Deal of the Year – Rolling Stock – Europe went to the Railpool Refinancing 2022 deal in which WFW advised a syndicate of lenders and noteholders on a €1.07bn loan to rolling stock lessor Railpool. The financing allowed Railpool to both refinance part of its existing debt and finance new build rolling stock as well as providing working capital.

The WFW Frankfurt Assets & Structured Finance team advised the lenders on this deal was led by Partner Frederik Lorenzen, supported by Senior Associates Alexander Piepenbrock and Sofia Tzanaki, Associate Alejandra Hagedorn and Trainee Marili Haraka. They worked closely with London Asset Finance Partner Louise Mor, Frankfurt Capital Markets Partner Dr Sebastian Wulff and Hamburg Tax Partner Verena Scheibe, the latter supported by Associate Manuel Rustler.

WFW advised project company Eolmed, whose main shareholders are Qair Marine, TotalEnergies Renewables and BW Ideol, on the structuring and negotiation of the non-recourse financing of its 30 MW floating offshore wind farm, the first of four pilot floating offshore wind farms under development in France. This deal won Renewable Energy Deal of the Year – Offshore Wind – Europe.

The WFW Paris team advising Eolmed was led by Finance Partner Laurence Martinez-Bellet assisted by Associates Julie Michelangeli, Léna Le Fahler and Sophie Rivallain.

WFW advised the French Ministry of Armed Forces on the signing of a concession contract for the outsourced management of its housing stock in France was named PPP Deal of the Year – Europe. This contract, through the refurbishment of housings and the construction of new ones, aims at improving the quality of life of soldiers and their families which. It was the largest PPP awarded in France in 2022, the contract’s overall turnover being just over €7bn.

The WFW Paris Public Law team that advised the French Ministry of Armed Forces was led by Partner Arnaud Troizier, with Senior Associate Antoine Bois-Minot and Associates Simon Dumontel and Anthony Pilon.

Louise Mor, who led on the Alpha Trains deal and was part of the team advising Railpool, commented: “We are thrilled that our cross-border rail finance expertise has been recognised by IJGlobal with two wins, highlighting our growing reputation for excellence in that sector”.

Paris Office Head Romain Girtanner added: “It is wonderful to see transactions we lead on from WFW Paris recognised internationally. These awards are indicative of the strength and breadth of our practice in France and testament to the expertise and commitment of our lawyers”.

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