Walkers (Ireland) LLP Wins Four Finance Dublin Deals of the Year Awards 2021

Walkers (Ireland) LLP is delighted to announce that together with a number of clients, it has won four Finance Dublin Deals of the Year Awards, in addition to having acted on eight other nominated deals. The annual Awards acknowledge excellence under five broad categories within the financial services sector in Ireland and these categories include: M&A; Debt Capital Markets; Equity Capital Markets; Loans & Financing; Financial Services and FS Aviation Finance. The 2021 Awards have recognised the most innovative and complex deals across the capital markets. We set out below details of some of our winning awards, in addition to commentary from each of the lead partners.

Winning Deals:

1. Debt Capital Markets – ILS: Azzurro Re II DAC Catastrophe Bond Programme

"With this deal, Walkers has again demonstrated its unrivalled position as a market leader in ILS. We were delighted to partner with UnipolSai and lead structurer, Willis Re Securities in getting this project over the line, on time and on budget. This and other recent cat bond transactions also reaffirms Ireland as the leading ILS jurisdiction within Europe and the natural home for European sponsors seeking to diversify their catastrophe reinsurance coverage."

Garry Ferguson, Managing Partner of Ireland, Finance & Capital Markets. Co-leading on this deal was Noeleen Ruddy, Finance & Capital Markets Partner.

The deal team included: Garry Ferguson, Noeleen Ruddy, Muireann Nic Dhonncha and Clare Mannion in the Finance & Capital Markets group.

  1. Aviation Finance - Aviation Leasing Platform: Project Gilead - GECAS and PIMCO
"The deal was unique in that it signalled an intent to invest significant finance into the aviation market at a time of crisis. It also demonstrated the desire for investment funds to collaborate with, and utilise the skill and expertise of, a stand-alone leasing company on the day-to-day management of the assets. This strategic investment platform will enable GECAS and PIMCO-advised accounts to acquire new and young fuel-efficient aircraft to meet the needs of a diverse set of global airlines over many years. The platform looks to provide much-needed financing for airlines which are looking to upgrade their fleets with young and new aircraft."

David McGovern, Partner and Head of Asset Finance. Co-leading on this deal was Brendan O'Brien, Partner and Head of Corporate.

The deal team included: David McGovern and Killian McSharry in the Asset Finance group, and Brendan O'Brien and Eoin Ryan in the Corporate group.

  1. International Financial Services – Aviation Finance: Irish Scheme of Arrangement: Nordic Aviation Capital DAC
"This deal demonstrates how useful an Irish Part 9 Scheme of Arrangement is as a restructuring tool for both Irish and foreign entities with a connection to Ireland to implement financial, covenant and enforcement waivers under non-Irish law governed finance documents, as well as deferrals of principal and interest payments and showcases the effectiveness of Ireland as a jurisdiction for complex cross-border financial restructurings."

Gavin Smith, Partner and Head of Insolvency and Dispute Resolution.

"The deal was important for Walkers in that it allowed our Asset Finance and Insolvency and Restructuring teams to work together to provide seamless advice to our client on all aspects of the mandate."

David McGovern, Partner and Head of Asset Finance.

The deal team included: David McGovern in the Asset Finance group, and Gavin Smith and William Greensmyth in the Insolvency and Dispute Resolution group.

  1. Debt Capital Markets - Innovative Debt Capital Markets Deal: Xtrackers ETC PLC
Andrew Traynor, acting as legal counsel to Wilmington Trust as trustee, commented that "the XTrackers deal was a notable Irish law governed programme for a highly sophisticated and active commodities product. As a market leading domicile for SPVs, there has always been a steady volume of Irish law governed trades across most asset classes but we have seen a noticeable uptick in recent years due to the UK's departure from the EU. Market participants are attracted to Ireland for our robust legal framework, transparency, reliability and access to top-class advisors and service providers. Brexit has further enhanced the benefits of using Ireland for a number of other reasons so we will continue to see lots of complex, big ticket deals like this being papered under Irish law."

Andrew Traynor, Partner, Finance & Capital Markets

The deal team included: Andrew Traynor, Ian McNamee, Laura Blaney and Charlotte Chestnutt from the Finance & Capital Markets group.

The additional nominated deals included:

  • Joint venture between Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited ("SMFL") and Lease Corporation International ("LCI") including the acquisition of 19 next-generation helicopters by the new joint-venture company ("SMFL-LCI") from the LCI group of companies. (Asset Finance and Corporate)
The deal team included: David McGovern, Brendan O'Brien and Killian McSharry.

  • Tramontana Asset Management ("Tramontana") Carbon ABS Programme (Finance & Capital Markets and Tax)
The deal team included: Matt Hedigan, Jonathan Sheehan, Eimear Burbridge and Aisling Ni Bhriain.

  • €150m Corporate FinTech Financing Round for auxmoney (Corporate, Regulatory and Tax)
The deal team included: Jonathan Sheehan, Brendan O'Brien, Eoin O Connor, Aisling Burke, Cal Kane and Niamh Pender.

  • Project Solar (Asset Finance)
The deal team included David McGovern and Andrea Gleasure.

  • Acquisition of Carr & Sons Seafood Limited and completion of takeover of Oceanpath Limited (Corporate, Finance & Capital Markets, Employment and Real Estate)
The deal team included: Brendan O'Brien, Susan Battye, Rachel Rodgers, Jonathan Sheehan, Andrew Traynor, Eoin Ryan, Robert Upton, Jennifer Bassett and Cal Kane.

  • River Green Finance 2020 (Finance & Capital Markets, Listings, Regulatory and Tax)
The deal team included: Aisling Burke, Noeleen Ruddy, Eoin O Connor, Therese Redmond, Ken Foley, Conor Daly, Timothy Fetherston and Niamh Pender.

  • Citizen Irish Auto Receivables Trust 2020 DAC – as trustee counsel (Finance & Capital Markets)
The deal team included Andrew Traynor and Paddy Rath.

  • Ireland Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme – acting for Metamo / 7 Credit Unions admitted as first community lenders to offer SME loans under the CCGS (Finance & Capital Markets)
The deal team included Andrew Traynor, Matt Hedigan, Eoin O Connor and Shane Martin.


To read more about these winning and nominated deals, you can view the Finance Dublin 2021 deal commentary and booklet here - https://www.financedublin.com/

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