Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised Alpha Bank and Export Finance Norway (Eksfin) on an export credit bond loan facility for the financing of three newbuilding AERO type high-speed catamaran passenger vessels.
They were built by Brødrene Aa for Attica Next Generation Highspeed, a subsidiary of Attica Holdings.
The investment’s total cost was €21 mill and was funded by Attica Group’s equity and the bond loan facility.
Their light carbon fibre construction contributes to low fuel consumption and emissions and they are also equipped with solar panels that will generate the energy required for lighting and energy consumption of the accommodation areas, further improving energy efficiency.
‘Aero 1 Highspeed’, ‘Aero 2 Highspeed’ and ‘Aero Highspeed 3’ have already been delivered. They will replace existing capacity operating on the Argosaronikos lines routes.
Attica Group, which is part of the Marfin Investment Group, provides sea transport services for passengers and cargo in the Eastern Mediterranean, both for the Greek domestic market and on international routes.
Alpha Bank, founded in 1879, is a leading Greek commercial banking institute with an extensive network of branches across the country with a long-established presence in the shipping sector.
Eksfin is a management company under Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, with NOK100 bill in guarantee portfolio and NOK50 bill in loan portfolio. Eksfin provides a wide range of products and financial solutions supporting, among other sectors, the Norwegian maritime industry.
The WFW Athens team that advised the lenders was led by Partners, Marisetta Marcopoulou and Christina Economides, supported by Senior Associate Valina Giouzelaki, Associate Marilena Kossyfa and Trainee, Katerina Dimitriou.
WFW said: “It was a great pleasure to work with Alpha Bank and Eksfin on this sustainable financing project. Our effective co-operation resulted in a smooth transaction for all parties and helped support Attica Group’s green investment in new state-of-the-art vessels to help mitigate their carbon footprint.”
Eksfin Maritime Section Head, Solveig Frøland, added: “We are truly pleased to witness the successful delivery of the Aero Highspeed vessels from Brødrene Aa. We appreciate the opportunity to extend financing to Attica Group in form of a new bond loan facility.”
A Rolldock heavylift vessel has since loaded two of the ferries and sailed for Piraeus.