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Maples and Calder Recognised for Seven Airfinance Deal of the Year Awards

05 May 2016

As a testament to the strong performance and unrivalled expertise of the Maples and Calder Finance practice, Airfinance Journal has recognised seven transactions on which the firm advised in 2015 for Deal of the Year awards.

A leading financial resource on the aviation industry and market leader for aircraft finance news, the Airfinance Journal awarded deals in the following categories:

North America Deal of the Year - Awarded for the Element ABS Deal

Partner Scott Macdonald, with assistance by associate Barnabas Finnigan, advised the Issuer, ECAF 1 Ltd, on its US$1.21 billion asset backed securitisation ("ABS") of a diverse portfolio of 49 aircrafts.  The offering of three tranches of note was the largest pooled-aircraft ABS transaction in nearly a decade.  Additionally, Maples and Calder partners Sheryl Dean and Philip Dickinson advised Element Financial Corporation, acting as the structuring agent on the upstream funding structure.

Latin America Deal of the Year
- Awarded for the LATAM Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates Deal

Partner Wanda Ebanks and associate Shari McField acted as Cayman Islands counsel to the Cayman Issuers and LATAM Airlines Group S.A. ("LATAM") on the issue of Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates ("EETCs").  LATAM is the first airline in Latin America to issue EETCs.  Funds raised were utilised to finance the airline's 2015 and 2016 deliveries of 17 aircraft, comprised of 11 new Airbus A321-200 aircraft, two new Airbus A350-900 aircraft and four new Boeing 787-9 aircraft.  The transaction met with such popularity that it was immediately upsized to US$1,020,823,000.  MaplesFS Cayman provided local administration and share trustee services. 

Capital Markets ABS Deal of the Year - Awarded for the BOCA ABS Deal

Partner Jonathon Meloy led a team comprised of partner Jonathan Caulton from the London office, partner Mark Western and associate Prabha Sasidharan from the Hong Kong office, and associate Barnabas Finnigan from the Cayman Islands office, which advised Shenton Aircraft Investment 1 Ltd on its US$807,976,000 ABS of a diverse portfolio of 24 aircraft.  BOC Aviation (Ireland) Limited acted as servicer to the portfolio.  MaplesFS Cayman provided share trustee services.  

Middle East Deal of the Year - Awarded for the Emirates SUKUK Deal

Partner Manuela Belmontes, assisted by associates Gurminder Sanghera and James Kinsley, advised Khadrawy Limited on the issuance of Islamic-compliant trust certificates (Sukuk) to raise advance funding for the acquisition of four Airbus A380 aircraft for Emirates.  It was the world's first Sukuk financing for A380 aircraft (and the first Sukuk financing supported by the UK Export Credit) and the largest ever capital markets offering (of US$913,026,000) in the aviation space with an Export Credit Agency guarantee.  MaplesFS Cayman provided local administration and share trustee services.

Europe Deal of the Year - Awarded for the DVB/Deucalion/AIM ABS Deal

Partner Jonathon Meloy led a team comprised of partner Jonathan Caulton in the firm's London office and associate Barnabas Finnigan in the Cayman Islands office, which provided Cayman Islands legal advice in connection with the ABS of an underlying portfolio of 20 aircraft valued at approximately US$814 million acquired from the Deucalion aviation funds.  Maples and Calder's affiliate, MaplesFS, acted as Managing Agent.  MaplesFS Cayman provided share trustee services.

Africa Deal of the Year - Awarded for the Comair Ex-Im Financing in ZAR Deal

Partner Donna Ager led a team comprised of partner Will Fogarty and associates Mary O'Neill, Aisling O'Reilly and David Burke.  The team acted as Irish deal counsel on the financing for the purchase of four new Boeing 737-800 aircraft for South African low-cost carrier, Comair.  The rand-guaranteed facility allowed Comair to match its loan repayments with its rand revenue streams, mitigating foreign currency risk.  The loan was guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Asia Pacific Deal of the Year - Awarded for Cheung Kong / Accipiter's Acquisition of Aircraft Portfolios from GECAS and BOC Aviation

Partners Mark Western and Lorraine Pao from the firm's Hong Kong office and partner Donna Ager from the Dublin office provided Cayman Islands and Irish legal advice to Cheung Kong Holdings in connection with its acquisition of aircraft portfolios from GECAS and BOC Aviation.  Accipiter Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Cheung Kong Holdings, closed the two portfolio purchases for a total of 30 aircraft at US$1.3 billion.

"We are honoured for the acknowledgment by the Airfinance Journal for the high calibre of work our lawyers continuously strive to achieve and the expertise we bring to our clients, as represented through these successful transactions," commented partner and Global Head of Asset Finance, Mark Western.  "The recognition is greatly appreciated and we aim to keep the positive momentum going through 2016."

The Airfinance Journal's Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the Awards Dinner held on 18 April 2016 in Miami. 

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Advising on the laws of the BVI, the Cayman Islands, Ireland, Jersey and Luxembourg, our global Finance team provides expert legal advice on even the most complex financial transactions under intense time pressure. Clients repeatedly return to our qualified finance lawyers to handle a variety of complex matters relating to acquisition and leveraged financing, asset finance, banking, debt capital markets, derivatives, fund finance, insurance linked products, Islamic finance, repackaging and structured finance.