Debt finance

Overview

Our debt finance team is strategically positioned to focus on the finance needs of Australian corporate borrowers.

We are unique in having top tier finance capability without the constraints imposed through panel relationships with Australia’s major trading banks. While bank panel commitments can give rise to conflicts of interest which may affect the willingness of panel firms to act assertively in commercial negotiations with banks, we are not constrained by:

  • contractual or commercial restrictions on acting against banks in contentious or potentially contentious matters
  • having previously advised banks to insist on or reject particular facility provisions, or
  • a bank-centric view of market practice.

Our clients include significant entities listed on the ASX or other major international stock exchanges, as well as large private or unlisted companies and trusts. The breadth of our borrower focussed practice ensures we are cognisant of current market practices and the expectations of major lenders.

Our experience covers the full spectrum of debt finance work, including:

  • bilateral and syndicated bank debt facilities
  • debt capital markets
  • project and infrastructure finance
  • property finance
  • leveraged and acquisition finance
  • securitisation and structured products
  • derivatives
  • receivables financing
  • convertible and hybrid securities
  • restructuring, insolvency and workouts.

We are experienced in major bank debt and capital markets raisings in the Australian, US and European markets, and have strong relationships with leading firms in those jurisdictions.

In workouts and restructurings, our debt finance partners work closely with our specialist insolvency and restructuring partners to provide an integrated, cross-disciplinary team with the full range of skills which may be required.

Experience

Recent matters

Abacus Property Group

Advising on all debt matters both as lender and as borrower, including structuring and managing complex mezzanine and joint venture structures to facilitate significant debt and equity investments.

AP Eagers Limited

Advising on all financing matters including in relation to its off-market bid for Automotive Holdings Group.

Archer Capital

Advising on its acquisition financing requirements and its portfolio companies’ debt financing requirements.

Battery Ventures

Advising in relation to its note purchase facilities for its acquisition of PageUp People.

Crescent Capital Group

Acting as Australian counsel to the client as second lien lender supporting KKR’s A$2 billion bid to acquire the publicly listed MYOB.

Flinders Ports

Advising on its common terms for bank debt and all other financing requirements including recent refinancings and issuance of USPP.

GFG Alliance

Advising on its debt and derivative transactions including the addition of A$650 million in credit lines for working capital management and planned growth opportunities, a new project financing facility and proposed IPO-related senior debt.

Kestrel Coal

Advising senior and mezzanine lenders financing EMR and Adaro consortium’s US$2.25 billion acquisition of the Kestrel Coal Mine from Rio.

Panthera Finance

Advising on its senior bank syndicated facilities and subordinated loan note facilities.

Royal Wolf

Advising on its core debt requirements, including the refinancing by Deutsche Bank of senior facilities previously put in place in connection with its takeover by General Finance Corporation.

Recognition

David Beckett, Jim Hunwick and Man Loi are recommended in Banking and Finance law.
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018
Jim Hunwick is ranked as a leading lawyer in Banking & Finance: Corporate Finance law.
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018
David Beckett is ranked as a leading lawyer in Banking & Finance: Acquisition Finance law.
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018
David Beckett and Craig Wappett are listed as leading lawyers in Project Finance & Development Practice.
Best Lawyers Australia, 2019
David Beckett is listed as a leading lawyer in Structured Finance Law.
Best Lawyers Australia, 2019
David Beckett, Jim Hunwick, Deborah Overstead and Craig Wappett are listed as leading lawyers in Banking & Finance.
Best Lawyers Australia, 2019
"The firm has exceptional capabilities in the loan refinancings sphere. I think, overall, Johnson Winter & Slattery were very professional and assisted us to achieve a highly unlikely but very desired outcome. I was very impressed with the quality of their advice and service."
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2017
David Beckett is praised by clients for his "experience and wealth of technical knowledge" as well as his ability to "verbalise complicated technical issues and convey them in an easily digestible manner."
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2017
Clients note that financing is Jim Hunwick's "bread and butter" and that he is "very measured and able to help us reach an acceptable position when handling difficult counterparties."
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2017
"Exceptional expertise in acting for borrower clients."
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2016
"They've been great and have met all our expectations. Their fantastic consistency and depth of knowledge have allowed us to work with them as if they were in-house."
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2015

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