Banking & Finance

The Australasian member firms of ALFA International act for banks, financial institutions and borrowers on a broad range of banking and finance matters.

Services include:

  • structuring advice for complex transactions,
  • due diligence reports for banks,
  • transactions involving syndicated lending, bi-lateral lending, security sharing arrangements, project finance, acquisition finance (including management buyouts and buy-ins), negative pledge lending and mezzanine finance,
  • development of precedent documents for national use by financial institutions,
  • compliance, including consumer, securities and fair trading laws,
  • industry specific banking advice, such as property finance, agricliture, maritime lending, fisheries and aquacliture lending, aircraft and helicopter financing and retirement village funding,
  • cross border security, foreign law legal opinions, and stamp duty issues,
  • establishing financial institutions,
  • regliatory matters including dealing with the Australian Prudential Regliatory Authority,
  • enforcement of debts and securities, including acting for overseas bank and non-bank creditors with Australasian debtors,
  • obtaining court orders for liquidation and bankruptcy orders,
  • insolvency litigation, such as claw back of voidable transactions, and
  • acting for banks, receivers and liquidators selling distressed assets and businesses.

Clients

The Australasian member firms advise Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) including domestic banks, foreign banks (both Australian and overseas operations) and non-bank financial institutions such as credit unions, superannuation funds and investment syndicates on all types of matters from routine financial transactions, through to complex specialist advice.

Some of our matters include:

  • Acting for a large private company in meeting all lenders’ required due diligence conditions, and advising on the facility and security documents required in a syndicated refinance deal totalling $900 million.
  • Acting for a major lender in relation to the take-out finance secured over a 155 room hotel ($25 million).
  • Advising a boutique Canadian lender, recently acquired by a Canadian Bank, on the establishment of its film financing programme for a range of Australian film and television and production companies. Each loan is principally backed by the production company’s contingent entitlement to a tax refund or “offset” for film production but also includes the production company’s beneficial entitlement to revenue under the distribution agreements for the film or television project and a range of other customised security instruments. This work has arisen as a result of the film tax offset arrangements that were implemented by the Australian Federal Government in late 2007. These rules in fact reflect the tax credit system used in Canada. The work is ongoing.
  • Acting for a client on the establishment of a series of hybrid committed and uncommitted revolving facilities with New Zealand, Australian and Japanese banks. The facilities are for NZ$75 million currently, and expected to be increased to NZ$150 to NZ$200 million when additional banks are added. The transaction was unusual because there was a combination of committed and uncommitted facilities. This required all documents to be specific for the transaction rather than being able to rely on standard documents.
  • Acting for a major overseas investor in the $250 million restructure and recapitalisation of a well-known Australian retail brand. The investor was a former vendor who exited at pre-GFC prices via a highly geared private equity buyout. As with a number of profile retail brands, the business struggled post-GFC and its debt was acquired by distressed hedge funds and the client. The debt and equity of the group was restructured in a "loan to own" transaction with the group companies remaining solvent and being recapitalized.
  • Acting for a European bank on the establishment and offering of sophisticated derivative products in Australia, including all regulatory requirements of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).
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