Behind the deals of H1 2015

Without the financial institutions backing projects and the legal advisers that help to hash out contracts, profitable and growth-producing infrastructure deals wouldn’t happen, so we took a look behind the curtain to see who has been directing deal flow.

While most infrastructure finance conversations surround issues such as ROI, IRR, and net social benefit, none of these growth goals would be achievable without the people and organisations working behind the scenes to ensure that sophisticated project contracts and financial structures are in place. 

With that in mind, we give you the most active drivers of infrastructure project finance in the first half of 2015 as captured via IIAssets, a project managed by our in-house Research & Analytics team.   


As with H1 2014, the top Mandated Lead Arranger (MLA) of H1 2015 was Sumimoto Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC), closing 66 deals with a combined commitment value of more than $4.85 billion, as compared to 75 deals valued at $3.57 billion made by the company in H1 2014. 
SMBC's largest commitment of the half was $1 billion to the Saudi Arabia-based Rabigh Phase II Project Refinancing, which was signed on March 16. The banking corporation's reported portfolio for the quarter included 24 projects in the energy sector, 21 in renewables, 12 in transport, and seven in waste and water.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group was the second-most active MLA of the half – also in line with last year – with commitments to 48 deals valued at $3.16 billion as compared to 50 deals valued at $2.81 billion in H1 2014. ING group's 54 commitments valued at $2.88 billion placed them in third, displacing last year's bronze candidate, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) with its 44 deals valued at $2.79 billion in H1 2014.

Credit Agricole (48 deals worth $2.41 billion), HSBC (25 deals worth $2.19 billion), CBA (38 deals worth $2.10 billion), Deutsche Bank (24 deals worth $2.01 billion), Mizuho (33 deals worth $1.89 billion), BNP Paribas (33 deals worth $1.74 billion) and Societe Generale (32 deals worth $1.63 billion) together comprised the remainder of the top 10 MLAs by deal value for the half. 


All top 10 financing participants in project financing for H1 came from the $14.6 billion Corpus Christi Liquefaction Train 1&2 Project for which CBA acted as joint lead arranger, joint lead bookrunner, and co-syndication agent with SMBC, Credit Suisse, HSBC, ING, Mizuho, Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Morgan Stanley Bank and the  Bank of Nova Scotia acting as joint lead arranger, joint lead bookrunner, co-documentation agent, and co-structuring lead. Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Intesa Sanpaolo and Lloyd's Bank acted as lead bookrunner, co-syndication agent, and co-structuring lead. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Standard Charter Bank acted as lead bookrunner and co-syndication agent. 

Top participants of the half were the Bank of China and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), with their $200 million commitments to loans for the Corpus Christi Liquefaction project, and Caixabank was the third-largest participator with $100 million in combined commitments to the same project. 

The remaining financing participants of the half included Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (LBBW), Banco De Sabadell , Credit Industriel Et Commercial (CIC) , Wells Fargo , CIT Financial, Korea Development Bank (KDB), Raymond James Financial, and CBA with its commitment to the Australia-based Waubra Wind Farm Refinancing Project with loan value of $34.66 million signed on March 13. 

Issuers and SPVs

The top debt issuer of H1 2015 was by far Cheniere Corpus Christi Holdings, which through two separate loans issued $11.5 billion in debt for the US-based Corpus Christi Liquefaction Train 1&2 Project.

Following by a wide margin was the Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company issued $5.17 billion in debt through five separate loans, one for $1.3 billion, two for $1 billion and two for $935 million, with all issued on March 16 for the Saudi Arabia-based Rabigh Phase II Project Refinancing endeavor. 

Trailing slightly as the third-largest issuer of the half was the Turkish Otoyol Yatirim ve isletme, which issued $5 billion in debt for the Saudi Arabia-based Gezbe-Orhangazi-Izmir Motorway PPP Refinancing on Jun 8. 

Behind these top infrastructure issuers of the half were French companies Eiffarie SAS and APRR, who joined together as borrowers for two debt issuances on February 19 worth a combined $3.76 billion for the Auturoutes Paris-Rhin-Rhone (APRR) Project Refinancing; US-based FLNG Liquefaction 3 with a combined $3.69 billion in borrowing issued on April 28 for the Freeport LNG Third Liquefaction and Export Facility Project; UK-based Cross London Trains issue of $2.15 billion in debt to finance the Thameslink PPP Refinancing 2015 on February 27; French Exeltium with three separate Exeltium Refinancing loans together worth $1.57 billion issued on April 9; UK-based Tullow Oil with $1.3 billion of combined issue for two loans on April 24 for Tullow Oil Refinancing 2015; and Australian SDP Finco with $1.28 billion issued through four separate loans for Project Caviar Refinancing 2015 on April 3. 

Legal Advisers 

Chadbourne & Parke was the most engaged legal advisement firm in the infrastructure space by deal value in H1 2015, with the New York City-based firm touching 20 financing packages valued at over $23.35 billion. C&P represented debt issuers in the Marcona Wind Farm Refinancing and the Tres Hermanas Project Refinancing, and in 18 instances acted as adviser to project lenders. 

Clifford Chance, the NYC-based firm that in H1 2014 was the most prominent legal adviser to infrastructure projects by total deal value, fell to second place this year, touching 48 packages with a combined value above $19.57 billion as compared with last year, which saw the firm advise on 13 deals worth $9.72 billion. 

Sullivan & Cromwell, with its participation in advisement on two financing packages for the Corpus Christi Liquefaction project, also secured its place amoung the top three. 

The remainder of the top 10 legal advisors in infrastructure financing for H1 2015 by total deal value included White & Case with 19 advisements on $10.88 billion worth of financing packages; Allen & Overy with 41 advisements on $8.09 billion worth of packages; Gide Loyrette Nouel (GIDE) with six advisements on $6.29 billion worth of financing; Herbert Smith Freehills with advisement on 24 packages worth $6.09 billion; Herguner Bilgen Ozeke with two advisements on packages worth $5.96 billion; and, Milbank Tweed Hadley & Mcloy with advisement on seven packages worth $5.46 billion.