Milbank scoops finance deal for Huntstown Power

US law firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has just closed a e220m (£142m) financing deal for the Huntstown Power Project, having snatched the work away from parent company Viridian's normal corporate adviser CMS Cameron McKenna.
The Huntstown Power Company (HPC) is a subsidiary of Viridian Group, Northern Ireland's largest public company, and was established solely for the purposes of the Huntstown Power Project – the first independent power project in the Irish Republic's newly opened market.
The firm won the business in a beauty parade last summer against a number of firms, including an undisclosed magic circle firm and Camerons.
Milbank lead partner John Dewar said: “We were selected because of our previous Irish project finance experience and our work in jurisdictions with evolving regulatory backgrounds.”
The firm has previously acted for commercial banks on the project financing of the Lisheen zinc mine in Ireland, the largest European mining project financing in Europe in 1997, and has played a leading role in other UK power projects, including AES Drax and Sutton Bridge.
Dewar and his team advised HPC in negotiating and structuring the project and its financing, against a regulatory background that was evolving as the project developed.
Dewar said: “This deal will pave the way for future projects in the electricity market in the Republic of Ireland.”
The financing of the project was turned around in a relatively short space of time, with Barclays being mandated as the arranger for the financing at the end of January.
“It's been an intense effort to close the deal,” Dewar said. “Especially considering the nervousness about power financing post-Enron.”
Barclays Bank provided two loan facilities to be syndicated to other banks. They are a e209m (£135m) term loan, and a e11m (£7.1m) working capital facility.
Linklaters advised Barclays with a team led by Clive Ransome. Dublin firm Arthur Cox advised HPC on Irish law matters, and Matheson Ormsby Prentice provided Irish advice to the financiers.