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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Watson Farley News

Image: WFW

WFW Advises Galloper on Sale of Assets

UK-based Galloper Wind Farm Ltd recently agreed the sale of its transmission assets relating to the 353 MW Galloper Wind Farm  to Diamond Transmission Partners pursuant to the Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) regime.The international law firm based in London Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) said that it has has advised Galloper on offloading its assets to DTP.Galloper Wind Farm is located in the North Sea, 27 km from the coast of Suffolk, England. The sale of Galloper’s transmission…

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WFW Advises TUI on $1.3Bn Take Over

London-based international law firm Watson Farley & Williams has advised TUI Cruises GmbH on its acquisition of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises from TUI AG for US$1.3bn, excluding net debt.According to the the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close in summer 2020. The deal includes the acquisition of HL Cruises’ luxury and expedition fleet, consisting of two five-star plus luxury vessels and three expedition cruise ships, by TUI Cruises.

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Poseidon Readies $140Bn Shipping Loan

With the signing by the France-based international lender to global shipping BNP Paribas and the Swiss multinational investment bank Credit Suisse, Signatories of the Poseidon Principles represent around $140 billion in loans to international shipping – about 30% of the total global ship finance portfolio.Poseidon Principles is a global framework for responsible ship finance which helps incentivize shipping’s decarbonization.They establish a common framework to quantitatively…

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US Lifts Sanctions on COSCO's Dalian Unit

The United States on Friday lifted sanctions on one of two units of the Chinese tanker company COSCO, the U.S. Treasury said, partially reversing its punishment on the company for transporting Iranian oil after China complained about the measure in trade talks with Washington.President Donald Trump's administration on Sept. 25 blacklisted two units of COSCO, named after the northeastern Chinese port of Dalian. The move sent worldwide freight costs to record highs and disrupted the global shipping market.The U.S.

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CSEIP Buys 25% Stake in Arkona OWF

Credit Suisse Energy Infrastructure Partners (CSEIP) acquired 25% stake in the Arkona offshore wind farm (OWF) from Norwegian energy company Equinor.Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised CSEIP on the EUR 340 million financing of the acquisition. The financing was arranged by Goldman Sachs.The 385 MW offshore wind farm, which is located in the German Exclusive Economic Zone in the Baltic Sea and comprises of 60 Siemens Gamesa 6MW turbines, was opened in April 2019. Following the transaction…

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CMBFL Sells and Lease Back 20 Tankers

CMB Financial Leasing (CMBFL) sign a $415.6 million sale and lease back transaction of 20 chemical tankers with Stolt Tankers, a UK-based provider of transportation and storage for liquids, notably specialty and bulk liquid chemicals, the proceeds of which were used to refinance certain debt secured on the vessels.Watson Farley & Williams (WFW), the international law firm based in London, has advised on this transaction. The leases were of a hybrid nature combining elements of both financial and operating leases.Founded in 2008…

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WFW Advises on Race Bank Wind Farm Deal

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW), an international law firm based in London, said that it has advised Race Bank Wind Farm Limited on its USD 608 million sale of transmission system assets relating to the 573 MW Race Bank offshore wind farm to Diamond Transmission Partners.Race Bank is a joint venture owned by Ørsted (50%), Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 (25%), a fund established by Sumitomo Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Development Bank of Japan (12.5%)…

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FDX Offshore Acquires Womar Logistics

Connecticut-based maritime finance company FDX Offshore has acquired Singapore’s tanker pool operator Womar Logistics. Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) advised FDX Offshore on its acquisition.The partnership intends to expand its chemical tanker pools as well as initiate and grow independent pools in other classes of ships.FDX is led by Managing Partner Jake Scott and Partner Andy Tuchman who will both become Womar board members. Formed in 2013, FDX has been providing financial advice and capital sourcing to maritime and energy projects.Incorporated in early 2009…

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OMP Acquires Stake in TEN

The maritime and offshore energy institutional investor OMP is acquitting of US$35m of Series G Redeemable Convertible Perpetual Preferred Shares of the Greek shipping company Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) in a private placement.Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) is advising OMP in preferred stock transaction.The Series G Preferred Shares will participate on an as-converted basis in any dividends declared and paid on TEN’s common shares and will be convertible at any time on a three and one-third-for-one basis into TEN common shares.Within the first quarter of 2021…

Photo courtesy of The Maritime Standard

Finance Conference Speakers Take Optimistic View of Shipping Market Trends

The fourth Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference, held at Abu Dhabi’s Sheraton Hotel and Resort, was in many ways very different from the preceding three events in this increasingly popular series. While in other years the sense of challenge and adversity was dominant, this year speakers at the one-day conference were generally much more optimistic and upbeat about market prospects, although a number of potential hazards on the road to full recovery were also much in evidence.Conference chairman…

Photo: Danaos Corporation

Danaos Corporation Slashes Debt

Danaos Corporation, a leading international owner of containerships, has announced the consummation of its previously announced debt refinancing , significantly strengthening the Company's capital structure and reducing its outstanding debt by approximately USD 551 million.The debt refinancing strengthens the Company's financial position through the significant debt reduction, reset financial and certain other credit facility covenants, modified interest rates and amortization profiles and the extension of existing debt maturities by approximately five years to December 31, 2023.

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WFW Advises CMBFL on Sale, Leaseback of 15 Dry Bulker

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised CMB Financial Leasing (CMBFL) on a US$180.4m sale and leaseback transaction with Star Bulk Carriers Corp, a Nasdaq-listed global shipping company providing worldwide seaborne transportation of dry bulk cargoes.The funds obtained by Star Bulk under this new five-year capital lease of US$180.4m entered into with CMBFL were used to part-finance the cash portion of the consideration with regards to Star Bulk’s acquisition of 15 dry bulk vessels from Norwegian shipowner Songa Bulk ASA.Founded in 2008…

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MSC Cruises Pact for USD 1.7bln Loan for New Seaside EVO Ships

Cruise liner MSC Cruises has reached an agreement for an EUR 1.5 billion (USD 1.74 billion) financing for two new Seaside EVO class cruise ships.BNP Paribas, Unicredit and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti will provide EUR 1.5bn in financing for two Seaside EVO class passengerships. The financing syndicate of lenders also include SACE SIMEST, the Italian ECA, fully backing the credit line and stabilising the interest rate.The first ship is expected to be delivered in May 2021 and the second in February 2023.

Photo: Consolidated Marine Management, a company of Latsco Shipping Ltd

WFW Advises ING Bank on USD 220mln Nine Vessel Financing

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised ING Bank, London Branch (ING) in connection with a US$87m increase to a US$131m loan facility originally granted to Latsco Shipping Ltd (Latsco) to finance the construction of five new high-spec MR product tankers.The increase has been used to up the number of modern tankers being financed to nine, the last of which was financed in May 2018.This now takes Latsco to a fleet of 27 vessels, a significant increase over the past three years since it agreed the original loan facility with ING in 2015.

Courtesy Euronav

Euronav Secures Loan for Four Ice-class Suezmaxes

Tanker shipping company Euronav has secured a loan facility providing financing for four ice-class suezmax newbuildings under construction by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., two of which have recently been delivered with the remaining two scheduled for delivery later in 2018.Watson Farley & Williams LLP (WFW) said it acted for Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank in relation to a $173.5 million loan facility for Euronav NV signed on March 22, 2018. The commercial lenders were Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank…

Gary Walsh is a partner in the firm’s Asset Finance Group. Photo WFW

$252m Finance for LNG-Powered Tankers

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised ING Bank (“ING”), as agent, security trustee and the syndicate of lenders on the US$252m financing of the world’s first ever LNG-powered aframax tankers for leading Russian shipowner Sovcomflot Group (“SCF”). The six 114,000dwt, ice-class vessels are being built by Hyundai Samho, with two of the vessels to operate under time charter to Shell for up to ten years. Shell will also provide LNG fuel for all six tankers across north-west Europe and the Baltic.

Photo:  NYK Europe

WFW Advises NYK on LNG Carrier Charter

Watson Farley Williams  (WFW) advised NYK Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha  (NYK) on the execution on 26 January 2018 of its long-term charter contract with EDF LNG Shipping, a subsidiary of the electricity major, Electricité de France (EDF). The contract is for the chartering of a newly built liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier for seven years, with optional extension periods for up to thirteen additional years. WFW also worked closely with the commercial and in-house legal teams at NYK, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and EDF on the construction arrangements for the vessel for the project.

Image: NYK Line

Ince & Co Advises EDF on NYK LNG Carrier

EDF LNG Shipping, a subsidiary of EDF group, signed a long term charter contract with the Japanese shipowner NYK on January 26th 2018. The vessel, with a capacity of 174,000 cbm, will be built by the shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries with delivery expected by spring 2020. Ince & Co supported EDF LNG Shipping in the negotiation and drafting of the time charter contract providing for an initial charter period of seven years which can be further extended to twenty years. This major…

Image: Gigilinis Shipping Group

WFW Advises Italian Shipowners on Partnership with Gigilinis

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) advised three leading Italian shipowners -Rimorchiatori Mediterranei, Gesmar and Fratelli Neri – on their partnership agreement with Thessaloniki-based Greek maritime operator Gigilinis Shipping Group. The deal closed on 29 November. The deal represents a strategic milestone in Italian ship owners’ expansion into the Greek and broader Eastern Mediterranean markets, most notably into the key port of Thessaloniki. Rimorchiatori Mediterranei is the leading player in the harbour towage sector in Italy…

Photo: L.G.R. di Navigazione S.p.A

WFW Advises BPM on Navigazione Refinancing

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) advised Banca Popolare di Milano S.p.A. (BPM) regarding a US$28.8m loan facility granted to L.G.R. di Navigazione and secured by, inter alia, mortgages over two medium range ice class tankers, the “Cenito” and “Posillipo”. Founded in 1865 by future Italian Prime Minister Luigi Luzzatti, BPM was Italy’s second co-operative bank. It merged with Banco Populare on 1 January 2017, to form Banco BPM, Italy’s third largest retail and corporate banking conglomerate. Naples-headquartered L.G.R.

GPH to Acquire cruise terminal

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Turkey-based cruise port operator Global Ports Holding (“GPH”) on the acquisition of stakes in companies managing cruise terminals in Italy. Specifically, GPH acquired stakes in the companies managing the Cagliari (Sardinia), Catania (Sicily) and Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna) cruise ports, previously owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (“Royal Caribbean”), Aloschi&Bassani S.p.A. and Bassani Ravenna S.r.l. Royal Caribbean will retain a minority stake in all three companies and Cagliari…

Francesco Maria di Majo is Counsel in the corporate group, based in Rome Photo WFW

Majo Appointed President of Civitavecchia, Gaeta and Fiumicino Port Authority

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW“) is delighted to announce that Rome corporate Counsel Francesco Maria di Majo has been appointed president of the prestigious Port Authority of Civitavecchia, Gaeta and Fiumicino (Lazio Region, Italy). The appointment was confirmed today by Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Mr Graziano Delrio, following approval from the Italian Chamber of Deputies’ Transport Commission on 15 November 2016. The Port Authority of Civitavecchia…

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BIMCO Adopts Ship Financing Term Sheet

In a landmark decision, BIMCO cemented its move into the domain of ship financing with the Documentary Committee’s approval of a standard term sheet for use in ship financing transactions on 17 November 2016. BIMCO President Philippe Louis-Dreyfus said, “I am particularly pleased to see BIMCO taking this important step. BIMCO is the world leader in the production of standard contracts and clauses for the maritime industry. It is only natural that its documentary activities also cover ship financing – an issue which has become increasingly important and challenging over the years…

Cruise Ship in Port Photo WFW

WFW Advises on Cruise Ship "Seven Seas Explorer" Delivery

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (“CACIB”), SACE S.p.A. (“SACE”) and a syndicate of banks on the delivery of the cruise ship “Seven Seas Explorer” built by the Italian shipyard Fincantieri S.p.A. “Seven Seas Explorer” was delivered to Explorer New Build LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line Corporation Ltd, on 30th June 2016 and will sail as part of the Regent Seven Seas fleet. The SACE-backed loan facility of US$374 million was used to partially fund the construction of the vessel.

LNG Ship Docked Watson Farley & Williams

WFW Advises Teekay on Major Financing Initiatives

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams LLP (“WFW”) advised long-standing client Teekay on the successful completion of financing initiatives for Teekay Corporation and Teekay Offshore Partners LLP (“TOO”). This included assisting TOO on US$400m of secured bank financing and the raising of US$200m in fresh equity capital along with the deferment of certain bond maturity dates, whilst parent company Teekay Corp completed US$350m of bank financing and raised a further US$100m in equity capital.

Pic by Watson, Farley and Williams.

Brexit: Potential Implications For The Maritime Sector

While the nature of the United Kingdom’s future trading relationship with the European Union (EU) will take some time to become clear, it is important to realise that in the immediate aftermath of the result of the UK’s recent EU referendum, says a report from Watson, Farley and Williams. Nothing has changed in terms of the trading relationship and the movement of people and goods between the EU and the UK and the laws which apply to your maritime business and contractual arrangements.