Sinclair Roche steers maritime deal

Recently-appointed Sinclair Roche & Temperley shipping finance partner Jonathan Ward led a four-partner team on a US $175m bond issue issued by Cenargo International, the international transport group.

The firm acted as maritime counsel to Banc Boston Securities, the company arranging the issue.

The deal comes after several similar issues by key players were shelved.

“There have been numerous articles in the press sounding the death-knell for high-yield bonds in shipping,” said Ward. “In my view they should not be written off. US bond markets will continue to provide a valuable source of marine financing in the future.”

Ward's team included partners George Hodgkinson, Stuart Beadnall and Alfred Merckx. They advised on a broad range of maritime legal issues including litigation, admiralty, shipping finance, tax and European Community matters.

“What was interesting about this particular deal was that it was one of the bond issues brought to the market that was secured,” said Ward. “This introduced certain drafting challenges relating to mortgage security and the interface of practical shipping matters with the requirements of the US bond documentation.”

The firm has recently acted for issuers and arrangers on a number of secured and unsecured Rule 144A high-yield bond offerings and related syndicated loans.