Norton Rose Fulbright advises on first green shipping project financing supported by EIB

Global Business December 12, 2017

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking as mandated lead arranger and a consortium of banks in relation to the €178 million financing of the ferry vessel “Honfleur”.

This will be France’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled vessel, and it will be operated by the French ship-owner Brittany Ferries between Caen-Ouistreham (France) and Portsmouth (UK) from April 2019. The ferry vessel is under construction by the German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft mbH & Co. KG (FSG).

This complex and innovative financing combines a French lease and debt financing coupled with a funded sub participation of the European Investment Bank (EIB). This project is financed under the EIB’s EUR750M Green Shipping programme aiming to promote green shipping supported by the Connecting Europe Facility and the European Junker plan. Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking acted as Pilot Bank for the EIB to design this green shipping program and was the first bank to sign, in November 2016, a Framework Agreement with the EIB to promote a greener maritime transport in Europe.

A signing ceremony took place on December 11, 2017 at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris that was attended by French Minister for Europe and Foreign

Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian. This transaction is a concrete translation of the climate change objectives set by the French government and the European Union in the context of COP 21.

Christine Ezcutari, commented:
“We are very proud of taking part in this innovative new financing in a market where the difficulties to finance new ships remain a reality. It shows that possibilities to find alternative financing exist, taking into account the environmental aspects, which are more and more prominent and it is an encouraging, positive sign for the industry”.

The Norton Rose Fulbright team consisted of partner Christine Ezcutari, of counsel Alexandre Roth, and associates Ayaka Millet and Alexis Babin de Lignac. They were assisted by of counsel Jean-Norbert Pontier and associate Mathilde Scholz on the hedging aspects of the transaction.

For further information please contact:

Carole Guettier, Senior business development manager, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Tel: + 33 (0)1 56 59 52 75

Charles Billiard, Communication Executive, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Tel: + 33 (0)1 56 59 52 96

Notes for editors:

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