NEW YORK, February 25, 2008 – Continuing its global leadership in financing power, energy and infrastructure projects, the international law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP has been recognized by Euromoney’s Project Finance magazine for its role in ten 2007 “Deals of the Year,” with an aggregate capital cost of $50 billion. This achievement follows Milbank’s recent recognition by Chambers and Partners as the “Global Projects & Energy Law Firm of the Year” in both 2007 and 2006. Milbank was also recognized by Project Finance magazine for ten “Deals of the Year” in 2006 and 2005, and eight in 2004.
Eric Silverman, co-chair of Milbank’s Project Finance Group, said, “This recognition highlights our ability to develop innovative and sophisticated financing solutions for clients across a spectrum of industry sectors and geographical regions. The awards underscore the scope and depth of our practice and our wide range of work on cutting-edge transactions.”
Ed Feo, co-chair of Milbank’s Power, Energy & Utilities Group, added, “We have once again demonstrated our global strength in financing a wide range of complex projects by offering a combination of corporate transaction experience and specialized regulatory skills coupled with an unparalleled breadth of industry knowledge.”
Milbank was recognized for its role in the following award-winning Project Finance magazine 2007 “Deals of the Year”:
- NORTH AMERICA INFRASTRUCTURE DEAL OF THE YEAR: Trans Bay Cable
Milbank represented the lenders in the $554 million Trans Bay Cable project, sponsored by Babcock & Brown. The loan consisted of senior (wrapped), subordinated and Holdco debt. The proceeds of the loan will be used to develop, construct and operate a 400 MW HVDC transmission line interconnecting a PG&E substation in San Francisco with a PG&E substation in Pittsburgh, CA.
- NORTH AMERICA PROJECT BOND DEAL OF THE YEAR: Lea Power Partners
Milbank represented the lenders Calyon and Lehman Brothers in the $327 million senior secured bond issued by Lea Power Partners. Proceeds of the financing will be used to develop and build a 604 MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Hobbs, New Mexico. The equity provider to, and owner of, the project is ArcLight’s Energy Partners Fund III; the developer is Genova Partners. The project is unusual in its use of gray market generating equipment that has been salvaged from mothballed projects and the stocks of other sponsors.
- NORTH AMERICA PORTFOLIO POWER DEAL OF THE YEAR: EIF Calypso
Milbank represented private equity fund manager Energy Investors Fund (“EIF”) in its purchase, via its United States Power Fund III LP unit, of an 80% stake in 14 power plants from Cogentrix Energy Inc., a unit of Goldman, Sachs & Co. The assets are held in a newly created holding company, EIF Calypso, which was funded by $850 million in loans from Calyon.
- NORTH AMERICA RENEWABLES DEAL OF THE YEAR: Noble Environmental Power
Milbank represented the lenders, HSH Nordbank AG, New York Branch, in the $485 million financing for the Noble turbine project. The proceeds of the financing will be used for the construction of three wind parks located in New York State: the 100.5 MW Noble Clinton Windpark, the 81 MW Noble Ellenberg Windpark and the 100.5 MW Noble Bliss Windpark. The deal was also named “ENVIRONMENTAL DEAL OF THE YEAR” by Project Finance International magazine.
- NORTH AMERICA PETROCHEMICAL DEAL OF THE YEAR: Abengoa Bioenergy Project
Milbank represented the lenders, WestLB and Banco Santander and a syndicate of other lenders, in the $300 million financing for the construction of two ethanol plants in the Midwest U.S. by Abengoa Bioenergy Holdings U.S., Inc., a subsidiary of Spanish company Abengoa, S.A. As a result of strong demand, the transaction was reverse-flexed, achieving the tightest pricing to date for a greenfield ethanol financing.
- LATIN AMERICA OIL & GAS DEAL OF THE YEAR: Schahin Drilling (Brazil/China)
Milbank represented the mandated lead arrangers, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Unicredit (HVB) and WestLB, in the $800 million financing of the development, construction and operation of two semi-submersible drilling platforms under construction in China and to be chartered by Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned oil company.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
- MIDDLE EAST IWPP DEAL OF THE YEAR: Marafiq IWPP (Saudi Arabia)
Milbank represented the commercial bank lenders and Islamic banks, including lead arrangers BNP Paribas, Gulf International Bank and Samba, as well as the Korean Export Insurance Corporation, in the $3.5 billion Marafiq IWPP in Jubail – the world’s largest independent water power plant. The financing included a $600 million Shariah-compliant tranche – the largest Islamic financing in the power and water sector to date.
- GLOBAL POWER DEAL OF THE YEAR: Barka2/Rusail (Oman)
- Milbank represented the sponsors in the $900 million financing for the acquisition of an existing plant from the Omani government and the development of a new plant. The transaction was the first power deal in Oman since the electricity and water sector was unbundled in May 2005, the first to combine the development of a greenfield IWPP with the acquisition and rehabilitation of an existing power plant and one of the most complex deals financed in the Middle East to date. Despite the immense challenges, the transaction was closed in 70 days.
- AFRICA MINING DEAL OF THE YEAR: Ambatovy Mines Project (Madagascar)
Milbank represented the lenders in the US$3.7 billion nickel, cobalt and ammonium sulphate mine project in Madagascar, the first large-scale project in Madagascar, one of the largest project financings ever undertaken in Sub-Saharan Africa and one of the largest project financings ever undertaken in the mining sector globally.
- ASIA RENEWABLES PORTFOLIO DEAL OF THE YEAR: Babcock & Brown Global Wind Partners
Milbank represented Babcock & Brown Wind Partners (“BBW”) as to US law in the $1.45 billion portfolio refinancing of the company’s global portfolio of wind assets. The transaction combined the wind farms into a single portfolio financing with a set of common terms across the entire debt portfolio, providing greater flexibility and achieving savings in cost of funding. The facility is a multi-currency structure with a single BBW borrower for each region and multiple facilities including term, construction, working capital, and letter of credit and guarantee facilities.
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is a preeminent global law firm that for more than 140 years has provided innovative legal solutions in many of the world’s largest, most complex, “first-ever” corporate transactions and litigation. Our transactional expertise includes capital markets, corporate finance and transactions, project finance, acquisition finance, and other major fields of law practice. Milbank litigation teams resolve disputes involving mergers and acquisitions, proxy battles, financings and securities offerings, intellectual property, white collar crime, and corporate restructurings, among others. Our clients range from prominent multinational financial, industrial and commercial enterprises to governments, institutions and individuals. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in Beijing, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, DC.