Project finance in Germany
Frequently working in conjunction with other departments, Clifford Chance covers a wide range of project finance transactions but has particular expertise in ECA-backed financing, leading to regular instructions on German and international conventional and renewable energy and infrastructure projects. As another key element, the practice is also increasingly active in healthcare sector project work; an element that was further boosted by Anna Thwaites’s appointment as counsel in May 2018. Together with Riko Vanezis, she advised a banking consortium on the financing of the construction, operation and maintenance of an integrated health centre in Turkey. In other work, team head Florian Mahler assisted Global Infrastructure Partners with the financing of the acquisition of a 50% share in the offshore wind farm Borkum Riffgrund 2, which is currently under construction, and together with capital markets law expert Sebastian Maerker, he advised the city of Düsseldorf on its €600m financing to re-acquire the city’s sewer system. Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe received advice on its shareholding in the onshore wind farm Nordlicht in Norway, while advising the Saudi Arabian General Authority of Civil Aviation on the privatisation of five international airports in Saudi Arabia constitutes one of its international highlights. Beda Wortmann is another key member of the team and frequently handles PPP projects. Stadtwerke Augsburg is also among the clients.
Allen & Overy LLP
With a focus on energy and infrastructure sector work, Allen & Overy LLP predominately acts for lenders on national and international projects and has particular expertise in refinancing issues and portfolio deals. In the infrastructure sector, of counsel Peter Stenz advised several banks and investors on financing the PPP project for the German A10 and A24 motorways between the Neuruppin and Pankow junctions for a total amount of around €620m; the financing package included various credit facilities alongside a long-term registered bond, which is subscribed by international investors. In the energy space, Stenz and counsel Jens Gölz advised Commerzbank on matters pertaining to the financing of the two French wind farms Haute Epine and Buissons as well as the financing of the onshore wind farm Lakiakangas in Finland, while Norbert Wiederholt assisted a banking consortium with the refinancing of the existing project financing package for Trianel Windkraftwerk Borkum. In other work, he advised a lender on restructuring and refinancing its circa €100m financing for a solar park in Spain.
Hogan Lovells International LLP focuses on national and international financing matters concerning energy generation plants, most notably in the renewable energy, energy-from-waste and conventional energy sectors, alongside infrastructure-related financing work and acts for manufacturing companies, banks and investors. Carla Luh, who made partner in January 2018, assisted Northland Power with the acquisition and the financing of offshore wind farm Deutsche Bucht totalling €1.3bn, advised NRW.Bank on refinancing the €315m offshore wind farm Trianel Wind Farm Borkum, and acted for DekaBank on refinancing Swiss PPP project Zeughausareal Burgdorf, which included the construction and operation of a public administration centre, a road inspection agency and a prison. Hamburg-based Christian Knütel and Frankfurt-based Tobias Faber are also key members of the team.
Linklaters advises banks and sponsors on the financing of national and international energy and infrastructure projects; an approach based on a strong co-operation with various other offices from its network, most notably its Paris and London offices, and with colleagues from a number of other departments including energy, public, tax, capital markets and corporate law. Counsel Judit Körmöczi and corporate lawyer Thomas Schulz advised UniCredit Bank as lead manager of the existing financing on the refinancing of offshore wind farm Borkum West I as well as the financing of the wind farm Borkum West II’s second expansion phase. In other work, the team assisted a bank with the refinancing and restructuring of a portfolio consisting of several wind farms in Poland as part of a change of ownership, and advised Allianz Global Investors on the acquisition of a 49% share in a wind farm portfolio consisting of seven wind farms in France from Steag. Michal Hlásek is another key individual.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP
Predominately acting for lenders, Watson Farley & Williams LLP is well versed in handling infrastructure and energy sector work including wind, solar and conventional energy project finance matters. In addition to its national work, the team has a focus on advising German banks and investors on international projects, most notably in France, Scandinavia, the UK and Ireland. Recently, Thomas Hollenhorst advised Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale on the financing of a solar park portfolio consisting of eight solar parks in Denmark with a total capacity of 70MW, while the team acted for a banking consortium on the financing of the offshore wind farm project Deutsche Bucht totalling €988m. Stefan Kilgus assisted KfW Ipex-Bank and the German government-owned development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau with the $31.7bn financing of the Argentinian onshore wind farm project Kosten. While senior associate Alexander Wojtek joined Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH as partner in December 2017, the team increased its bench strength in the transport and asset finance segments with the addition of aviation financing expert Jonathan Mullender in March 2018; he was previously of counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright and is best known for advising German arrangers, funds, airlines and banks on financing transactions in the aviation sector and on national and international aircraft leasing matters including the acquisition and sale of such assets.
The project finance team at White & Case LLP advises banks, financial investors and sponsors on the financing of national and international energy and infrastructure projects and benefits from its close co-operation with the firm’s Düsseldorf-based energy team and its Berlin-based public law and regulated markets department. Team head Florian Degenhardt advised Meag Munich Ergo Asset Management on the refinancing of a motorway section by way of project shares and bank loans, and assisted Bayerische Landesbank and UniCredit Bank with the financing of Bavaria’s first forest wind farm portfolio by means of commercial loans. A consortium of two banks instructed the team to act as mandated lead arranger and security agent on the structured financing of a wind farm in Scandinavia.
In project finance, the team at CMS frequently handles renewable energy sector work, most notably in the onshore and offshore industries. As a recent example, Holger Kraft, Kerstin Block and Marc Riede advised British Wind Energy (BEW) on the financing of the offshore wind farm project Deutsche Bucht in the Nord Sea with a financing volume of €1bn made available by a consortium of ten commercial banks.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Norton Rose Fulbright predominately acts for lenders and advises them, in conjunction with various other departments and colleagues from other European offices, on financing matters concerning energy and infrastructure projects. Anthony Morton and Hamburg-based Timo Noftz, who assists lenders, lessors, lessees and sponsors alongside project companies and other corporate entities with national and international financing and leasing transactions for aircrafts, ships and railways, are key names. Of counsel Jonathan Mullender joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP as partner in March 2018.