Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised long-standing client MSC Cruises on a €2.524 bill financing package.
It was provided for the financing and post-delivery financing of 80% of the construction costs of the three new vessels, ‘MSC World Class 1’ and ‘2’ and a fifth vessel in the ‘Meraviglia’ class of ships.
The financing was provided by a syndicate of lenders with Société Générale as lead mandated lead arranger, Citibank. as initial mandated lead arranger and BNP Paribas, HSBC France, Banco Santander and Unicredit, as mandated lead arrangers. ECA support was provided by Bpifrance Export Assurance.
MSC’s ‘World’ class vessels will be the largest cruise ships yet built by passenger numbers. All three vessels are being built at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in St Nazaire, with ‘World Class 1’ due for delivery in 2022, ‘Meraviglia 5’ in 2023 and ‘World Class 2’ in 2024.
WFW’s London Maritime team advising MSC Cruises was led by Partner and Global Maritime Group Head, Lindsey Keeble, with Partner Robert Platt advising on the shipbuilding contracts, both supported by Senior Associate Emily Widdrington and Associate Philip Chope.
The team recently advised MSC Cruises on the €1.29 bill financing of ‘Meraviglia 3’ and ‘Meraviglia 4’ under construction at Chantiers de l’Atlantique and the €1.5 bill financing of two ‘Seaside Evolution’ class vessels.
Keeble commented: “We’re pleased to have once again been able to advise MSC Cruises on successfully financing these new additions to their fleet, this time involving what will be the world’s largest cruise ships to date.”