London - Leading global law firm Mayer Brown has advised a joint venture involving four shipping companies in the US$425 million refinancing of four liquefied natural gas vessels. The 12-year loan from a consortium of international banks will be used to refinance existing debt facilities on four liquefied natural gas vessels.

The four vessels are wholly owned by vessel sponsors: Qatar Shipping Company, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha. All four vessels are chartered to Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company II in Qatar on a long term charter basis.

Stuart McAlpine, Banking & Finance partner at Mayer Brown, said: "This is an important transaction being one of the first refinancing of LNG tonnage chartered to Ras Gas. The deal was well supported by the banks demonstrating strong appetite for the sector. Mayer Brown has advised on a number of similar transactions in this area in recent times and we’re delighted to have assisted on this deal."

The Mayer Brown team was led by Banking and Finance partner Stuart McAlpine and included Banking & Finance senior associates Marcin Perzanowski and Roy Chan (Hong Kong) and associate Simon Connor; Tax Transactions & Consulting senior associate Benjamin Fryer and associate Jared Goldberger (New York).

Mayer Brown has previously advised Mitsui O.S.K Lines on the acquisition, financing and long term charter of four liquefied natural gas carries, the first LNG vessels to be built for the company in China.