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Overview: Hectic year for our Banking and Finance team

2018 has been a hectic year for SVW's Banking and Finance team. We have seen new financings in most sectors. This has mainly been driven by the traditional banks and financial institutions as well as the bond market.
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We have, however, also seen more untraditional types of lending structures than before (including direct lending) and that new lenders (including various types of funds and syndicates) are offering competitive financings.

Since the Ministry of Justice and Public Security in December 2017 received more than 60 different sets out comments to the new Financial Agreements Act, many of which were negative to both the process and the content, we have been waiting for updates on the way forward.

However, a year later the act is still registered to be “in process” without any new information. As time goes by, it is in our opinion more likely that the act will be rejected in full and that the relevant directives (PSD, PSD2 and MCD) will be implemented under the existing acts. This will hopefully be clarified in 2019.

Some highlights from our practice in 2018:

  • We have assisted lenders and borrowers with numerous aircraft financings, including Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA with the delivery and financing of seventeen Boing 737-800 aircrafts, eight Boing 737-8 (max) aircrafts and eighteen Boing 787-9 (Dreamliner) aircrafts.
  • We have assisted the lenders on numerous ship and rig financings for borrowers such as Klaveness, Golden Ocean, DHT, Frontline, MPC, Songa Chemical Tankers and Ship Finance.
  • We assisted an US investment bank on its complex direct lending (with Nordic Trustee as agent) to a major company listed on the OSE.
  • We have assisted on several scrubber financings, including Eksportkreditt’s and GIEK’s first ever scrubber financing, which was granted to Inventor Chemical Tankers AS.
  • We have assisted with several bond loans, including the USD 130,000,000 senior secured bond issued by Songa Container AS.
  • We have assisted with the financing of several wind farms, including the refinancing of Raggovidda Wind Farm.
  • We assisted GIEK with guaranteeing the power purchase agreements for Guleslettene and Øyfjellet Wind Farms. GIEK have now issued three separate power purchase guarantees which evidences that the power purchase guarantee scheme is supporting the development of new renewable power production in Norway.
  • We have assisted financial institutions with their financing of Norwegian yards and related shipbuilding projects with a total loan amount exceeding NOK 10,000,000,000.

SVW’s Banking and Finance team is one of the biggest and most experienced teams in Norway with seven partners and more than twenty dedicated lawyers in total. The team has been further strengthened in 2018 by the appointment of Halvor Klingenberg (partner/Oslo) and Stig Strand (senior lawyer/Kristiansand), and the promotion of Yannis Litinas as new partner (Oslo).

We are looking forward to 2019, which we already see will be another busy year. We are especially conscious of the fact that the waivers granted in several previous restructurings soon will expire and that we from the end of 2019 may see a new wave of restructurings in the offshore sector.