Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the lenders to the Plenary Health consortium, comprising Plenary Group (financial sponsor, 70 percent equity investor and asset manager), Multiplex (construction contractor), Honeywell and Compass Group (facility services providers) and Sojitz Corporation (30 percent equity investor), on all aspects of the project financing of the AUD$1.5 billion new Footscray Hospital, the single largest health infrastructure investment in Victoria, Australia, to date.
“The achievement of financial close of this public-private partnership, which began procurement in July 2019, is a testament to the collaborative and pragmatic approach taken by Plenary Health and the State of Victoria to the various challenges posed throughout the process, including the challenges in the debt markets that were presented by COVID-19 during the procurement process,” said White & Case partner Joel Rennie, who co-led the Firm’s deal team.
The hospital is being delivered as a public-private partnership (PPP), with Western Health as the public operator of all clinical services and Plenary Health contracted by the Victorian Government to finance, design, construct, and maintain the hospital for 25 years following construction completion.
The lenders to the project are NAB, Westpac, Mizuho, Norinchukin, Crédit Industriel et Commercial and Nippon Life.
“This is the first PPP to close in Australia since the advent of COVID-19 and the pandemic environment required finding solutions to new risks, including the treatment of pandemics,” said White & Case partner Cameron Watson, who co-led the deal team. “It was incredibly rewarding to work collaboratively with all parties in agreeing bespoke arrangements in relation to such specific risk items.”
The White & Case team in Australia that advised on the transaction was led by partners Joel Rennie and Cameron Watson (both Sydney), with support from partner Alan Rosengarten (Melbourne) and associates Chris Wallace and Kian Newlyn (both Sydney) and Matt Sercombe and Yushu Xie (both Melbourne).
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