In March 2017, public-private project company Opale Défense and the French Ministry of Defence (“MoD”) finalised the first ever refinancing of a public-private partnership (PPP) through capital markets.
Gide advised HSBC, appointed in 2016 as the arranger and global coordinator of the operation, on the legal aspects of structuring the refinancing and its implementation. The transaction’s main purpose was to refinance the long-term Dailly debt of the “French Pentagon” project, located in the southern 15th arrondissement of Paris.
HSBC placed the refinancing with French and European institutional investors, mainly through capital markets. In order to implement this debt refinancing of approximately EUR 740 million, HSBC used the Balzac securitisation mutual fund, which will directly receive the State’s payments. The non-rated bonds issued by the mutual fund are listed in Paris on AlterNext. The project debt was also bought back and all hedging instruments relating to the initial financing were restructured to enable refinancing.
Gide provided legal advice to HSBC on this operation with a team comprising partners Laetitia Lemercier, Xavier de Kergommeaux and Thomas Courtel, assisted by counsel Laurent Vincent (capital markets - derivatives), and associates Farah El-Bsat (structured financing), Louis Ravaud (capital markets - derivatives), Samir Bensaker and Sonia Aguercif (securitisation).
Opale Défense received legal advice from CLP-Cliperton (Olivier Fourcault, Thomas Clément), and the French Ministry of Defence from De Gaulle Fleurance et Associés (Jonathan Souffir, Agnès Macaire) and Watson Farley & Williams (Arnaud Troizier).