Norton Rose Fulbright advises Chinese lessor on innovative LNG ship refinancing

Business February 29, 2016

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Chinese leasing company ICBC Financial Leasing on an innovative refinancing relating to two LNG vessels.

This transaction, which involved a combination of a commercial facility, an ECA-backed facility and a bond offering, marked the debut collaboration by a Chinese financial lessor and The Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) to support the financing of high-end vessels built in Korea for use by leading global operators. The US$200 million bond offering, which is secured by the charterhire revenues from the LNG vessels, is believed to be the first of its kind in the debt capital markets.

The commercial lender was Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and the ECA lender was KEXIM. The bond offering was guaranteed by KEXIM and underwritten by Crédit Agricole Securities and Goldman Sachs.

The LNG vessels, which are on lease, were purchased last year by entities related to ICBC Financial Leasing in a sale and leaseback transaction on which Norton Rose Fulbright also advised.

Fei Kwok, a partner in the Beijing and Shanghai offices of Norton Rose Fulbright, commented:

“We are extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to advise ICBC Financial Leasing on this unique financing in China. We are hopeful that similar structures may be used by Chinese leasing companies in relation to other types of assets in the future.”

The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by Fei Kwok with assistance from senior associate Simon Barrell and paralegal William Chen. Advice on the bond issue was provided by Hong Kong-based partner David Johnson and Of Counsel Harold Tin. Hong Kong-based partner Davide Barzilai advised on Hong Kong law issues and New York-based partner Michael Flamenbaum advised on US tax laws related to the bond offering.

For further information please contact:

Stuart Lennon, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, Asia
Tel: +852 3405 2306

Notes for editors:

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