Aus & NZ: Lenders behind WestConnex AUD 1.1bn bridge facility revealed

03 October 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

A 16-bank syndicate provided the AUD 1.1bn (USD 786.3m) bridge facility which enabled Transurban’s acquisition of a 51% stake in Sydney Motorway Corporation, Inframation can reveal.

Transurban closed the deal for the group, which is delivering the USD 6.7bn WestConnex project to expand Sydney’s motorway network, last Thursday (27 September). 

The banks are: Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Australia New Zealand Banking Group, Bank of Nova Scotia, CIBC, Credit Agricole, EDC, Hana Bank, China’s ICBC, ING, Mizuho, NAB, SMBC, Société Générale and Westpac.

Transurban has released transaction documents showing a requirement for full payment of the upfront purchase price at Acquisition Close was the main reason for the short-tenor bridge facility.

The bridging loan will mature on 27 December of this year. Inframation understands the parties are aiming to reach financial close on a separate debt deal for the project in the next five weeks and arrange repayment of the loan.

The later scheduled debt transaction will provide an additional AUD 4bn which will be used to refinance the original debt associated with Stage One of the project – the new M4 tunnel and its widening.

A AUD 1.7bn project finance facility previously arranged in the December 2016 closing, will be used to ‘rebalance the capital structure’ of the first stage project. The final debt transaction will include an AUD 0.6bn tranche which will partially go to fund the construction costs of Stage 3A – two 7.5km tunnels of four lanes, forming the M4-M5 link. 

The latest AUD 1.1 bn bridge loan follows Transurban’s AUD 4.1 bn equity contribution.

Transurban is the largest shareholder of Sydney Transport Partners with a 50% stake.

Other consortium members, including AustralianSuper, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority subsidiary, Tawreed Investment, have contributed a further AUD 4.1 billion in capital. These three parties each hold a 20.5%, 20.5% and 9% equity stake respectively. 

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