Milbank LLP advised Athens International Airport S.A. (“AIA”), as issuer of up to €665.6 million bond loans in connection with the 20-year extension of the original concession granted to manage and operate Athens International Airport pursuant to the Airport Development Agreement dated 31 July 1995 (as amended, the “ADA”). National Bank of Greece S.A. and Piraeus Bank S.A. acted as, amongst other roles, joint underwriters and mandated lead arrangers.
The bond loan proceeds will be used to partially finance the consideration of over €1,115 million (excluding VAT) payable by AIA to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund under the ADA extension agreement for this extension of the original ADA concession period. The structuring and signing of this landmark transaction was completed on 18 December 2018 in accordance with the timeline necessary for compliance with the terms of the extension to the ADA. The bespoke and initially subordinated financing structure was developed taking into account the existing terms and conditions of the ADA and the senior financing with the European Investment Bank. The ADA extension agreement was itself executed on 24 January 2019, ratified by the Greek Parliament on 14 February 2019 and published in the Official Gazette on 19 February 2019 before the request for the bond loan issuance was made by AIA.
Global Leveraged Finance/Capital markets partner Apostolos Gkoutzinis commented that “The ability of the AIA team and stakeholders to raise this bond loan financing from the Greek market on an expedited basis is a testament to the financial strength of this prized national Greek asset. The execution of the transaction involved the Milbank team working closely with an extremely committed client team and was the result of a significant coordinated effort across practice groups and our London and Frankfurt offices.”
The Milbank team was led by Global Leveraged Finance/Capital Markets partner Apostolos Gkoutzinis and London Project, Energy and Infrastructure senior associate, Suzanne Szczetnikowicz, in a coordinated cross-office transaction team comprising London and Frankfurt-based Global Leveraged Finance partners Suhrud Mehta and Mathias Eisen with associates Danielle Brown, Jonathan Roberts, Thomas Moeller and Maria C. Schweinberger, with further support being provided by London Project, Energy and Infrastructure partner Matthew Hagopian and senior associate Felicia Hanson Ofori-Quaah.