Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised the Asian Development Bank (“ADB”) as lender on a US$135m financing package for VinFast Trading and Production Limited Liability Company (“Vinfast”) to finance a project encompassing creating a fleet of fully electric buses for public transport, an electric vehicle charging network and other electric mobility expansion capex in Vietnam.
This project will create Vietnam’s first fully-electric public transport bus fleet and first national electric vehicle (EV) charging network, contributing to nation’s transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and an expansion of high-tech manufacturing industries.
A cross-border team from WFW LVN in Hanoi and WFW Hong Kong acted as international and local Vietnamese counsel in respect of the financing documentation and security structures required for the seven-year tenor climate financing comprising a US$20m loan funded by ADB, concessional financing of up to US$28m by ADB and parallel loans of US$87m from Export Finance Australia, the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation, Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG and responsAbility, facilitated by ADB as mandated lead arranger. WFW acted as counsel for ADB and the parallel lenders in respect of their loans, which featured a significant level of co-operation on environmental and social compliance issues across the lender group.
ADB is a regional development bank supporting projects in developing countries across the Asia Pacific region by providing loans, technical assistance, grants and equity investments to promote social and economic development. VinFast is Vietnam’s first domestic car company and e-vehicle manufacturer and a subsidiary of Vingroup Joint Stock Company, Vietnam’s largest private enterprise and largest listed company.
The WFW Projects and Corporate team that advised ADB was led by Hanoi Partner Matt Lorimer, supported by Hong Kong Senior Associate Michael Folsom. WFW LVN Hanoi Associate Mai Dao advised on the Vietnamese law aspects of the deal. Trainees Jim Chan in Hong Kong and Linh Hoang and Tien Le in Hanoi also assisted.
Matt commented: “We are delighted to have worked with ADB and Vinfast on this transaction to support the financing of a project delivering a high-impact transport solution for Vietnam. Our team worked seamlessly together on this transaction, demonstrating our expertise advising on green finance loans and helping to contribute to Vietnam’s decarbonisation plans”.