News

EIT acquires 39.9% interest in Hallett 4 Wind Farm

Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG) is pleased to announce that Energy Infrastructure Trust (EIT) has acquired a 39.9% interest in Hallett 4 Wind Farm (Hallett 4) – a 63 turbine, 132.3 MW wind farm located in South Australia.

The transaction was completed after a sale process undertaken by Marubeni Corporation. Following the acquisition, Hallett 4 will be owned by EIT (39.9%), Osaka Gas Co. Ltd (39.9%) and APA Group (20.2%).

It is the third AGL Energy backed wind farm that EIT has in its portfolio complementing Wattle Point and Hallett Hill No 2 Wind Farms that were acquired in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Similar to Wattle Point and Hallett Hill No 2 Wind Farm, AGL is responsible for all operational matters including any change in law risk related to the Renewable Energy Target.

Andrew Pickering, Portfolio Manager for EIT, said the investment complements EIT’s portfolio stating: “We are delighted to have secured another investment in a stable, highly contracted asset that provides immediate strong cash yields to our investors. The investment in Hallett 4 strengthens EIT’s position as one of Australia’s pre-eminent renewable energy providers by increasing its renewable generation capacity to almost 350MW’s.”

Given its familiarity with very similar AGL Energy structures, ICG acted as financial advisor to EIT and was responsible for all aspects of the transaction which included arrangement and analysis of due diligence material, financial modelling and negotiating sale documentation. The acquisition follows the successful A$205m US Private Placement undertaken last month by ICG for Hallett Hill No 2 Wind Farm.

Hallett 4 commenced operations in December 2010 and is supported by long-term off-take and asset management agreements with AGL Hydro until May 2036. AGL Hydro’s obligations are backed by a parent guarantee from AGL Energy (S&P: BBB stable).

Posted in News | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on EIT acquires 39.9% interest in Hallett 4 Wind Farm

Hallett Hill No 2. Wind Farm becomes the First Australian Wind Farm to successfully Issue in US Private Placement market

Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG) announced today that Hallett Hill No. 2 Wind Farm (Hallett Hill) successfully launched a $A205m issue in the US Private Placement (USPP) market.
The USPP issuance comprises two 12‐year tranches of notes for $US99m and $A76m. The notes will be issued at T+175bps (US tranche) and T+185bps ($A tranche). As part of the transaction, cross currency swaps were entered into to convert the $US notes into $A. The issue was heavily oversubscribed with strong appetite from investors.
Funds from the USPP issuance will be used to refinance Hallett Hill’s current senior debt facility. Funding will occur on 27 May 2015.

The transaction represents a significant milestone for the renewable energy market with Hallett Hill being the first Australian wind farm to issue in the USPP market. Executive Director of ICG and Director of Hallett Hill, Craig Whalen, noted: “The issue demonstrates there is strong appetite from US investors for well‐structured transactions backed by a strong counterparty such as AGL Energy. The 12‐year debt issue provides a long‐term funding solution for Hallett Hill Wind Farm which materially de‐risks our investment. We are delighted with the outcome.” ICG also notes that it significantly reduces EIT’s refinancing requirements for the short term and is an important step in EIT’s ongoing capital management.

Hallett Hill is a 71MW, 34 turbine, wind farm located in mid‐north South Australia near the township of Mt Bryan. Hallett Hill has been operational since 2009. Hallett Hill is wholly owned by the Energy Infrastructure Trust (EIT) which is managed by ICG. It is backed by 25‐year Offtake and Asset Management Deeds with AGL Hydro whose obligations are guaranteed by its parent AGL Energy (S&P: BBB (stable)).

ICG acted as financial and ratings advisor to Hallett Hill. BNP Paribas and National Australia Bank Limited were the Joint Placement Agents. Allens and Sidley Austin provided legal advice to the issuer, Herbert Smith Freehills and Chapman & Cutler provided legal advice to the noteholders and Chatham Financial provided hedging advice to the issuer.

The USPP issue for Hallett Hill follows the successful refinancing of Wattle Point Wind Farm (which is also wholly owned by EIT) in November 2014 by ICG which also included a long term tranche provided by US investors.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Hallett Hill No 2. Wind Farm becomes the First Australian Wind Farm to successfully Issue in US Private Placement market

ICG Deal named among the finalists of the 7th Annual International M&A Awards

Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG) is pleased to announce that the Wattle Point Wind Farm refinancing has been named as a finalist in the Cross Border Restructuring Deal of the Year category of The M&A Advisor Awards.

The transaction involved the refinancing of Wattle Point Wind Farm’s $A161 million senior debt facility.

Winners of the award will be announced at the 2015 International Financial Forum, featuring the 7th Annual International M&A Awards Gala, on 27 and 28 April in New York.

The refinancing was strongly supported by the project finance market with a 5-year facility being provided by Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation together with a 10-year facility provided by investors managed by US fund manager, Babson Capital.

The transaction marked a significant milestone for the senior debt market in Australia with the introduction of US-based institutional funds as long-term senior-debt lenders to an Australian infrastructure project.

Craig Whalen, Executive Director of ICG commented: “This is one of the first times in the Australian infrastructure finance market that non-traditional lenders have participated in a syndicated debt facility alongside institutional banks. The refinancing takes advantage of a favourable debt market and provides funding diversification to Wattle Point.”

ICG was responsible for all aspects of the refinancing which involved a competitive tender process with prospective bank and institutional lenders, arranging due diligence, financial modelling and negotiating loan documentation.

Wattle Point Wind Farm is a 91MW generator located on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. The project is supported by a long-term off-take and asset management agreement from AGL and was acquired by EIT in 2007.

Posted in News | Comments Off on ICG Deal named among the finalists of the 7th Annual International M&A Awards

Jeff Harding appointed as Independent Director to the ICG Board

Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG) is pleased to announce that it has appointed Jeff Harding to the role of Independent Director of the ICG Board.
Jeff is recognised as one of Australia’s leading alternative energy practitioners and has been a key driver in expanding the renewables market in Australia, South America and Europe since the mid-90’s.
Jeff previously managed (and oversaw the international expansion of) Pacific Hydro until its sale in 2005. He was also Vice President of the Australian Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Jeff is the first of two Independent Directors to be appointed to the ICG Board and will also join ICG’s Investment Committee. Jeff is charged with establishing a bridge to potential European deals, deepening the firm’s operational expertise and strengthening the firm’s infrastructure experience and networks.
ICG’s Investment Committee Chair, Mike Fitzpatrick, commented: “Following a long-standing working relationship with Jeff, I am confident that he will complement the skill set of the investment team and the independent nature of his appointment will further strengthen ICG’s independent governance model.”

Posted in News | Comments Off on Jeff Harding appointed as Independent Director to the ICG Board

Wattle Point Wind Farm Refinancing Successfully Completed

Infrastructure Capital Group is pleased to announce that Wattle Point Wind Farm has successfully refinanced its $A161m million senior debt facility. Completion occurred ahead of the scheduled refinance date of April 2015.

The refinancing was strongly supported by the project finance market with 5-year facility being provided by Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation together with a 10-year facility provided by investment clients of asset manager, Babson Capital.

The transaction marks a significant milestone for the senior debt market in Australia with the introduction of US-based institutional funds as long-term senior-debt lenders to an Australian infrastructure project.

Craig Whalen, Executive Director of ICG who led the transaction commented: “This is one of the first times in the Australian infrastructure finance market that non-traditional lenders have participated in a syndicated debt facility alongside institutional banks. The refinancing takes advantage of the favourable debt market currently available to borrowers and provides funding diversification to Wattle Point – today as well as in the future.”

The refinancing continues the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s association with Wattle Point having been a lender since its inception in 2007 and introduces Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Babson Capital to the project.

ICG was responsible for all aspects of the refinancing which involved a competitive tender process with prospective bank and institutional lenders, arranging due diligence, financial modelling and negotiating loan documentation.

Wattle Point Wind Farm is a 91MW generator located on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. The project is supported by a long-term off-take and asset management agreement from AGL and was acquired by EIT in 2007.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Wattle Point Wind Farm Refinancing Successfully Completed

Board and Management Transition Primes ICG For Growth

*   Founder and Managing Director John Clarke retires from full time executive duties at ICG

*   Board and management transition reinvigorates ICG for next growth phase, ensuring stability of key personnel across Board and management positions

*   Concurrent ownership changes in ICG enhances alignment of key personnel

*   Transition follows recent strong fund inflows and investment performance

Specialist fund manager Infrastructure Capital Group Limited (ICG) has today announced Founder and Managing Director Mr John Clarke has retired from full time executive duties following a long and distinguished career with the company. 

Mr Clarke retires after more than 14 years at the helm of ICG, which he founded as a joint venture with ANZ in 2000 as ‘ANZ Infrastructure Services’ (ANZIS). In 2009, Mr Clarke, as part of a consortium led by current Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick, acquired ANZ’s shareholding in ANZIS and renamed it ICG. 

Importantly, Mr Clarke will continue as a Non-Executive Director of ICG in a part time capacity to ensure retention of corporate knowledge and a smooth transition for the new Executive Management Committee.   The recently executed Board and management restructure is focused on furthering ICG’s commitment to excellence and achieving investment targets for its investors. 

Specifically, the changes comprise current Executive Directors Mr Andrew Pickering and Mr Tom Laidlaw becoming Chairman and Managing Director of ICG respectively. Mr Mike Fitzpatrick will not only remain a director of ICG but will increase his day-to-day involvement as Chair of the Investment Committee.

Mr Clarke will continue his chairmanship of ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park and Mr Fitzpatrick will remain excluded from all matters pertaining to this asset. 

Newly appointed Chairman of ICG, Mr Andrew Pickering said:

“John Clarke has been a pioneer in identifying emerging investment opportunities both domestically and internationally and has created significant value for ICG investors over many years. 

“On behalf of the Board of ICG, I would like to thank John for his invaluable contribution to the company.  He has been instrumental in the development of ICG from inception into one of Australia’s leading, independent infrastructure managers with over A$1.4 billion in equity funds under management.”

Concurrent with the Board and management changes, an ownership transition in ICG has also occurred.  This has involved Mr Clarke reducing his interest in ICG to 10% and Mr Fitzpatrick and a number of key investment personnel increasing or initiating equity holdings in the company. This will ensure the stability of long serving and highly experienced investment personnel across key management positions. 

Newly appointed Managing Director of ICG, Mr Tom Laidlaw said:

“The increased spread of equity ownership of ICG further aligns key personnel and investors in ICG’s funds as we embark on a new growth phase following strong new investment capital flows and investment performance.”

This is an exciting time for ICG as it seeks to further align itself with its investors achieving outstanding returns.

Posted in News | Tagged | Comments Off on Board and Management Transition Primes ICG For Growth

Minister for Energy Opens Mumbida Wind Farm

Dr Mike Nahan, the Minister for Energy in Western Australia, officially opened the Mumbida Wind Farm on September 27th 2013.

The Wind Farm has been operating effectively and efficiently since May 2013; providing renewable energy to the WA Water Corporation to offset the energy requirements of the Southern Seawater desalination plant near Bunbury.

Infrastructure Capital Group and Mumbida Wind Farm director Andrew Pickering said the project was an excellent example of joint public/private investment in the energy sector. “This is our first wind farm investment in Western Australia and our first project working with Verve Energy – and we have been very pleased on both counts. ICG has long had a keen interest in Western Australia, with investments in generation projects from Esperance to Kwinana, Neerabup and now Geraldton.”

The Mumbida Wind Farm is comprised of 22 GE turbines and has a total installed generating capacity of 55 megawatts. It is capable of producing enough energy to supply the equivalent of about 40,000 average households.

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Minister for Energy Opens Mumbida Wind Farm

Premier Opens Final Stage of Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group Coal Terminal

The final stage of the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) coal terminal in the Port of Newcastle was officially opened on September 20th 2013 by New South Wales Premier, Barry O’Farrell.

Mr O’Farrell praised the initiative and focus of NCIG and its shareholders on the successful delivery of the multi-billion dollar infrastructure project.

John Clarke, managing director of ICG said “As cornerstone investors in NCIG, Diversified Infrastructure Trust and Energy Infrastructure Trust are extremely pleased that a project of this magnitude has been delivered ahead of time and also under budget. Just two Lost Time injuries in over 8 million hours worked have been recorded to date. This outstanding result is testament to NCIG management and the thousands of people who have worked on the project.”

The terminal is now ramping up to its approved export capacity of 66 million tonnes per year.

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Premier Opens Final Stage of Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group Coal Terminal

Hallett Hill No. 2 Wind Farm Refinanced

We are pleased to announce that the Hallett Hill No. 2 Wind Farm (HHWF) has successfully refinanced its $86 million bullet facility. Completion occurred on 26 April 2013, ahead of the scheduled refinance date of July 2013.

ICG was responsible for all aspects of the refinancing, which involved a competitive tender process with prospective lenders, arranging due diligence reports, and identifying potential lender and negotiating loan documentation. The refinancing process enabled a new lender, ANZ, as well as NAB (one of HHWF’s original lenders) and the Japanese bank Shinsei Bank to participate in the deal. Importantly, the $130 million amortising tranche remained unaffected by the bullet refinancing. This will refinanced (along with the new bullet facility) at its scheduled date of July 2015.

Craig Whalen, director of ICG noted that ‘The bank debt environment has significantly changed since 2008, with several prominent international lenders withdrawing from the market and Australian lenders being more circumspect as to which project they support. As part of the refinancing consideration was also given to HHWF’s long-term interest rate swaps, which were put in place in 2008. We are pleased with the refinancing outcome as competitive margins were able to be achieved without disrupting HHWF’s existing financing structure’.

Hallett Hill is a 71.4MW wind farm located 220km north of Adelaide in the Hallett Hill ranges. It was acquired by EIT in August 2008 and commenced operations in March 2010.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Hallett Hill No. 2 Wind Farm Refinanced

Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group Completes Stage 2AA Expansion

ICG is pleased to announce that Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) has successfully completed Stage 2AA expansion thereby increasing total export capacity of the port from 30 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 53Mtpa.

John Clarke, managing director of ICG said, ‘NCIG management team has done an excellent job completing the expansion on time and under budget. Diversified Infrastructure Trust and Energy Infrastructure Trust are cornerstone investors in NCIG and are very pleased with the performance of this investment to date. Successful completion of Stage 2AA will also result in a step-up in cash coupon payments on the notes held by our investment trusts’.

NCIG is currently undergoing Stage 2F expansion which is expected to be completed in December 2013 and will further increase the nominal export capacity of the port to 66Mtpa.

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group Completes Stage 2AA Expansion