LONDON, February 17, 2006 – The financing for the €455 million Rizziconi Energia combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) project sponsored by EGL AG has successfully closed. The international law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, led by partners Phill Fletcher and Cathy Marsh, in conjunction with Italian law firm Grimaldi e Associati, represented the lenders in structuring, negotiating and closing the transaction.
Cathy Marsh, partner in Milbank’s Global Project Finance Group in London, stated, “Working closely with our co-counsel Grimaldi e Associati has been critical to the structuring of the financing, as it required meeting the needs of the project sponsor and the more than 12 participating banks.”
About the Project Financing
The €455 million financing of the Rizziconi Energia CCGT project is sponsored by EGL AG, one of the leaders in the free electricity market in Europe and a subsidiary of Swiss utility company the AXPO Group.
The 20-year non-recourse package was underwritten by MCC, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and EPC contractor Finmeccanica. The 800MW Rizziconi Energia CCGT project is located in Calabria, Italy.
In addition to the arrangers MCC, RBS and Finmeccanica, the banks participating in the deal include: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Bayern LB, BBVA, BNL, Fortis, HypoVereinsbank, Societe Generale, WestLB and Banca Mediocredito (the project financing subsidiary of UniCredito). The project is supported by a long-term tolling agreement.
The Milbank team representing the lenders was led by global project finance partners Phill Fletcher and Cathy Marsh and associates Richard Keenan, Sufian Creui and Caroline Dreyfus, all in the firm’s London office.
Milbank’s Global Project Finance Group is one of the largest and most experienced among the world’s major law firms. Renowned for its leadership, Milbank has pioneered some of the most innovative project financing techniques, and consistently ranks among the top law international law firms by industry trade publications. In 2005 the Group was involved in a record ten “DEALS OF THE YEAR” awarded by Euromoney’s Project Finance magazine. In addition, the Group ranks among the top law firms in Project Finance magazine’s “LEGAL ADVISERS REVIEW 2005/2006” and has been shortlisted for “PROJECT FINANCE TEAM OF THE YEAR” by Legal Business, Project Finance International and Global Water Intelligence magazines. With more than 75 dedicated project finance attorneys in the firm’s offices worldwide, Milbank provides legal advice under English, German and U.S. law. As the project finance marketplace has evolved, Milbank’s Global Project Finance Group has expanded the range of products and services by working in conjunction with attorneys from other practice areas including financial restructuring, mergers & acquisitions, development and structured and commodities finance, and leveraged finance and capital markets.
The London office has been involved in a number of landmark project financings throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, on projects ranging from power generation, power transmission and distribution, pipelines, oil and gas and petrochemicals, telecommunications and space, waste disposal and recycling, water treatment, mining and natural resources, pulp/paper, transportation, to other types of infrastructure. Notable engagements include:
- Shuaibah IWPP (Saudi Arabia): Milbank represented the lenders in the groundbreaking $2.5 billion IWPP, the world’s largest new build IPP/IWPP to date and Saudi Arabia’s first IWPP. Both Project Finance magazine and Project Finance International Yearbook named Shuaibah the “EMEA POWER DEAL OF THE YEAR” for 2005.
- Qatofin Petrochemical Project (Qatar): Milbank represented Qatofin Company Limited in a complex $1.1 billion financing involving the simultaneous closing of three projects and two financings in one deal. Project Finance magazine named Qatofin the “EMEA PETROCHEMICALS DEAL OF THE YEAR” for 2005.
- Hamma Water Desalination Project (Algeria): Milbank represented Hamma Water Desalination Company in the financing of the largest desalination plant in Africa and the first PPP in Algeria.
- Drax (UK): Milbank advised the committee of holders of over 85% of the equity and subordinated debt in the 4000MWDrax power project that refinanced its complex debt put in place as a result of its 2003 Scheme of Arrangement and successfully listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange;
- Umm Al-Nar (Abu Dhabi): Milbank represented the lenders of the US$1.8 billion debt financing of the Umm Al-Nar Independent Power and Water Project, at the time of closing the largest power and water project financing in the Middle East with the largest ever Sharia compliant Islamic financing tranche.
- Sohar IWPP (Oman): Milbank represented the project sponsor, Tractebel Electricity & Gas International, in the $550 million syndicated greenfield Sohar IWPP project in Oman. Project Finance magazine named Sohar the “MIDDLE EAST POWER & WATER DEAL OF THE YEAR” for 2004.
- Al Ezzel IPP (Bahrain): Milbank represented the project company in the financing of the $380 million Al-Ezzel IPP in Bahrain, the first independent power project in the Kingdom. The transaction was named the “MIDDLE EASTERN POWER DEAL OF THE YEAR” by Project Finance magazine.
- Baymina Power Project (Turkey): Milbank represented the sponsor, Tractebel, on a €475 million 13-year project loan to finance the construction costs of a new-build 760 MW power plant near Ankara. The deal was named the “EMEA DEAL OF THE YEAR” by Project Finance International magazine.
- Moma (Mozambique): Milbank advised the commercial and ECA/multilateral lenders in connection with the $269 million financing for the Moma Titanium Mine in Mozambique, the largest African mine project agreement completed in 2004. The deal, which achieved reasonably priced non-recourse debt financing, set a benchmark for an African investment by a relatively small-cap project company operating in an untried market. Project Finance magazine named Moma the “AFRICA MINING DEAL OF THE YEAR” for 2004.
- Other recent representations in the Gulf region include: the Salalah power project in Oman; the Taweelah A1 power and water project in Abu Dhabi; and the refinancing of the Al Manah power project in Oman.
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is a premier global law firm headquartered in New York, with offices in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, London, Frankfurt, Munich, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. Milbank is a recognized leader in capital markets, corporate finance, project finance, acquisition finance, and other major fields of legal practice. The Firm's practice includes cross-border mergers and acquisitions and global securities transactions as well as assisting multinational clients with their cross border investments. Milbank provides a full range of services to many of the world’s leading financial, industrial and commercial enterprises, as well as governments, institutions and individuals.