The contract will see Serco servicing Royal Navy fleets across three major UK ports – Portsmouth, Plymouth’s Devonport dockyard and Clyde docks in Glasgow – as well as providing service management.
Linklaters was instructed by Serco to act on behalf of the shareholders of the special purpose vehicle (SPV), Serco Denholm Marine Services (SDMS), which was established to fund the contract.
The key shareholders were Serco Holdings, Denholm Shipping and Matrix FPMS.
The unique terms of the contract meant that the £150m financing for the SPV came from both Lloyds TSB’s private finance initiative (PFI) department and the asset finance department.
Under a traditional PFI agreement, funding would not be received until the contract is officially awarded.
However, the unique nature of the marine contract – which includes plans to introduce 31 vessels to the fleet – meant that the funding arrangement needed to be made effective immediately.
Lloyds TSB instructed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Nicholas Bliss to advise on the terms of the PFI.
Serco instructed Ince & Co partner Jeremy Farr to work alongside Linklaters on the specialist marine aspects of the contract.
As part of the deal, Ince & Co will advise Serco on its obligations to upgrade the Royal Navy fleet for the duration of the 15-year contract.