01 Nov 2018
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Plenary Group has completed a $230 million refinancing of the AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience public-private partnership.
The refinancing comprises a unique, single 17-year debt tranche that aligns with the end of the PPP concession, eliminating refinancing risk.
The debt is fully underwritten by NAB, one of the three previous lenders for the project.
Plenary Head of Origination Paul Crowe said the structure is a first for a PPP refinancing in Australia.
“Aligning the tenor of the refinancing with the end of the PPP concession completely removes the refinancing risk for the equity investors and the Victorian Government,” said Mr Crowe.
“This outcome is a sign of the project’s underlying strength. It could not have happened without such a successful collaboration with the State, NAB and our co-investors.
“NAB was an existing lender that has been involved in the AgriBio project from the start; we have a strong relationship and we thank them for their continued support.
“This refinance is another example of the results that can be achieved when partnering with governments to combine our structuring capability with our deep understanding of PPPs.”
The refinancing adds to Plenary’s proven capability as financial adviser and sponsor in the Australian infrastructure sector that includes its first external financial advisory mandate on the recent $646 million refinancing of the Peninsula Link PPP, and its reopening of the greenfield bond market in Australia in arranging the $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade PPP last year.
About AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience
AgriBio – a joint initiative of the Victorian Government and La Trobe University – is Australia’s premier biosciences facility with some 30,000-square-metres of research laboratories, glasshouses and office accommodation for more than 400 scientists, students and support staff. Its program of plant, animal, and biosecurity research and diagnostics supports and protects Victoria’s $11.6 billion agricultural sector. In 2009 the Victorian Government contracted the Plenary Research consortium – comprising Plenary as sponsor, financial arranger, investor and asset manager; builder Grocon; and facilities management provider Honeywell – to design, build, finance, and maintain the facility for 25 years.