Overview

Mayer Brown’s Energy Finance team combines a wealth of experience in the world's major financial markets with a deep and broad understanding of the energy industry. Companies that explore for, develop, produce, store, market, transport, process and sell energy resources are among the most capital-intensive in the world. The need to fund acquisitions and exploration and development operations, infrastructure and capital expenditure, means that access to the capital markets continues to be vitally important. Our lawyers have extensive experience representing energy clients, including large and small producers, as well as commercial and investment banks, in all aspects of the capital-raising process.

Energy companies have access to a wide range of financial products. However, no single segment of the financial markets can fulfill all of an entity's needs. Companies are best served by advisors who can competently assess the choice of markets that are most suitable to them, depending on their stage of growth and their particular needs at the time. Experience in the public and private equity markets, together with thorough knowledge of the syndicated lending and specialty finance markets, is paramount.

Our group combines breadth and depth of experience in the world's major financial markets. Our lawyers are experienced in:

  • Financing the purchase, development and sale of energy and energy infrastructure projects throughout the world
  • Structuring reserve-based financing of oil and gas assets, refineries, petrochemical-related properties, pipelines, power plants and other assets
  • Financing LNG vessels and import/export facilities

We are experienced in reserve-based production loans, volumetric production payments, master limited partnerships, leveraged lease financings, mezzanine financings, tax credit monetizations, export credit and other financial products, and can help you select the combination that suits you best.

Praxis

Oil & Gas

  • Acquisition finance. We represented Precision Drilling Trust in the $1.6 billion financing to fund the cash portion of its $2 billion acquisition of Grey Wolf. Mayer Brown later assisted Precision in connection with a $300 million equity offering in the first quarter of 2009 to pay down the indebtedness.
  • Acquisition finance. We represented the administrative agent in a $220 million revolving and term loan facility to Tuscany International Drilling and Tuscany South America in connection with Tuscany's acquisition of a French drilling company with operations in South America and Africa.
  • Asset finance. We advised the lenders on the financing of a 138,000 cubic meter vessel for importation of LNG by Chinese Petroleum Corporation from Indonesia. We carried out due diligence review of all project documents and acted for the lenders in relation to the preparation of a loan agreement and security documentation including fuel payment trust and retention account arrangement.
  • Asset finance. We acted for the vessel sponsors on China's first LNG import project and Australia's largest-ever export contract. The tankers were the first to be built in China and are project-financed under facilities arranged by China Development Bank.
  • Drilling rigs. We acted for the sponsor, Odebrecht S.A., on the $1.5 billion financing of two deep-sea drilling vessels for operation off the coast of Brazil. This was one of the first limited recourse financings in Latin America after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The project won Project Finance International’s Americas Deal of the Year 2009.
  • FERC receivables financing. We represented lenders in several transactions involving the securitization of so-called FERC receivables held by pipeline companies.
  • Infrastructure finance. We represented Bank of Montreal, as administrative agent and arranger in connection with the $300 million senior secured credit facility to EFS Midstream LLC, an entity formed by Pioneer Natural Resources, Reliance Industries and Newpek to fund capital expenditures to develop gas gathering, processing and transportation infrastructure in the Eagle Ford Shale region of south Texas.
  • Reserve-based lending. We represented the agent of a $2 billion senior credit facility, used by HighMount Exploration & Production LLC, to purchase oil & gas assets from Dominion Exploration & Production, Inc. and related affiliates.
  • Reserve-based lending. We represented the administrative agent and arranger in a $210 million credit facility for Hilcorp Resources, LLC, a joint venture between Hilcorp Energy I, LP, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co to acquire and develop oil and gas properties in the Eagle Ford Shale play in south Texas.
  • Tax lease financing. We acted for the sponsors of a joint venture shipping company for the French tax lease financing of two LNG tankers for long-term transportation of LNG from Oman. This transaction involved complex tax structuring, intense hedging and quiet enjoyment arrangements reflecting the different interest and exposures of the various parties involved.

Power

  • Acquisition finance. We advised ABN AMRO and Deutsche Bank AG as co-arrangers of $1.1 billion in financing for Ashmore Energy International’s acquisition of Prisma Energy International, the subsidiary of Enron Corp. that holds all of Enron’s non-US energy businesses. The total deal size of the acquisition, which was the second largest M&A transaction in Latin America in 2006, was $2.9 billion.
  • Commercial paper program. We represented Santander Investment Ltd. as lead manager in a $61.2 million offering of notes by Centrals Elétricas de Santa Catarina S.A. (CELESC) under its Euro commercial paper program.
  • Indonesia power project. We represented Export-Import Bank of the United States in connection with the $1.4 billion expansion project of the 815 MW single-unit coal-fired power plant located at the Paiton Power Generating Complex in Java, Indonesia. The new 1,230 MW independent power plant will share facilities with the existing Paiton I Project, in which we also represented U.S. Ex-Im Bank. This deal was named Asia Project Finance Deal of the Year 2009 by International Financial Law Review (IFLR).
  • Nuevo Pemex, Mexico. We represented the lenders, Banco Santander S.A. and Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Publicos, who will finance the $700 million, 300 MW Nuevo Pemex cogeneration facility in Tabasco, Mexico. The facility is the first of a planned series of nine similar projects that will add more than 3,000 MW of power generation capacity in Mexico. This transaction was named Latin America Power Deal of the Year 2011 by Project Finance.
  • Peru transmission lines. We represented WestLB and BNP Paribas, as joint lead arrangers, in the bridge and syndicated loan financings for Abengoa Transmisión Norte (ATN) for the construction, operation, and maintenance of approximately 700 km of electric transmission lines and the construction or upgrading of eight related substations in Peru.
  • Philippines power plant. We represented Export-Import Bank of the United States as political risk guarantor and term lender in approximately $933 million project financing of a 700MW coal-fired power plant facility in Pagbilao, Philippines.
  • Restructuring. We represented the Export-Import Bank of the United States in connection with the successful restructuring of the approximately $320 million senior secured debt of Central Puerto, S.A., an Argentine electricity producer. Central Puerto is the largest electricity generating company in Buenos Aires and this transaction was one of the only successful restructurings of electricity generator debt following the Argentine fiscal crisis and subsequent material changes in the regulatory scheme applicable to electrical power generation and distribution in Argentina.
  • Vietnam thermoelectricity. We acted as lead arranger, VND billion 10-year bonds issued by Vietnam Machinery Installation Corporation to fund the Vung Ang 1 Thermoelectricity Power Project.

Renewable Energy

  • Biomass. We represented a lender in the construction financing of 100 million gallon ethanol plant in Hereford, Texas, fueled in part by waste from cattle feedlots.
  • Canadian solar. We are representing US Ex-Im Bank on the financing of a Canadian solar power project. The engagement involves the $129 million Stardale Solar PV Project, a 27 MW solar power development located outside St. Eugene, Ontario.
  • Fire Island. We represented Cook Inlet Inc. and its subsidiary, Fire Island Wind LLC, in connection with construction financing (including a bridge loan until the 1603 grant is made) for a 17.6 MW (11 GE 1.6MW xle turbines) wind power project on Fire Island, Alaska, financed by CoBank.
  • Leveraged lease financing. We represented an institutional investor and its affiliates as equity investor in the leveraged lease financing to Pattern Energy Group's subsidiary, Hatchet Ridge Wind, LLC, the lessee of a 101.2 MW wind energy project located in Burney, California. The financing for the project included long-term institutional lease debt and long-term letter of credit facility.
  • Hidro Xacbal. We represented RBTT Merchant Bank, FMO and other lenders in a project financing for Hidro Xacbal SA in the construction of a $227 million 94 MW hydroelectric facility in Guatemala. The deal was named Latin American Renewables Deal of the Year 2007 by Project Finance and Best Power/Energy Deal 2007 by Latin Finance.
  • Indian wind farms. We advised Caparo Energy in relation to a compulsorily convertible debenture financing together with the related option arrangements and collateral package. The proceeds of the financing will be used to develop wind farms in India.
  • La Yesca. We represented the lenders to the over $1 billion La Yesca Hydroelectric Project in Mexico. Financing has closed and was named Americas Power Deal of the Year for 2007 by Project Finance International, and in 2010 we advised WestLB in connection with the expansion of the credit facilities for the project.
  • Macho Springs. We represented an institutional investor and its affiliates on construction, term loan and structured equity financing for the Macho Springs wind farm, an approximately 50.4 MW wind farm developed by Element Power and located in New Mexico.
  • Waste to energy. We represented Heller Financial, as lender, in connection with financing of the acquisition of Browning Ferris Gas Services, Inc. by Gas Recovery Systems, Inc. from Allied Waste Industries, Inc. and the associated acquisition of a portfolio of landfill gas-to-energy facilities.

Additional details of our project finance work in the energy sector can be found here.