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Financial close for Aussie road refinancing

A lender group has provided A$1.27bn of new debt facilities for the investor-owned Westlink M7 motorway in Sydney.

Financial close has been achieved for A$1.27 billion (€890 million; $1.18 billion) of new debt facilities for the Westlink M7 motorway in Sydney, New South Wales.

The banking group providing the debt comprises: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ); Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC); Commonwealth Bank of Australia; Credit Agricole CIB; Export Development Canada; National Australia Bank; Royal Bank of Canada; Scotiabank; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC); and Westpac Banking Corporation.

“We are delighted to have been able to assist the lender group and the sponsors on the first complete refinancing of the debt facilities since 2005 on such a key asset in the Sydney orbital road network,” said Michael Ryan, a partner at law firm Allens, which advised on the refinancing.

Other legal advisers on the deal included King & Wood Mallesons for the sponsors and Clayton Utz for Roads and Maritime Services, a New South Wales government agency.

Westlink M7 is 50 percent-owned by Australian toll road operator Transurban, with 25 percent held by Australian asset manager QIC on behalf of its clients and a further 25 percent owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Formerly known as the Western Sydney Orbital, the Westlink M7 opened eight months ahead of schedule in December 2005 and connects three motorways: the M5 South Western motorway at Prestons, the M4 Western Motorway at Eastern Creek, and the M2 Hills Motorway at Baulkham Hills.