Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Alpha Bank S.A. (“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 built by Norway-based Brødrene Aa for Attica Next Generation Highspeed a subsidiary of Attica Holdings SA. (“Attica Group”). The total cost of the investment was €21M and was funded by Attica Group’s equity and the bond loan facility.
The light carbon fibre construction of the vessels contributes to low fuel consumption and emissions and the vessels are 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 been delivered. The vessels will replace existing capacity operating on the Argosaronikos lines routing.
Attica Group, which is part of the Marfin Investment Group, is a leader in the provision of sea transportation services for passengers and cargo in the Eastern Mediterranean, both for the Greek domestic market and on international routes. It provides high-quality transportation services and it is governed by ethics, integrity and solidarity.
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 NOK 100 billion in guarantee portfolio and NOK 50 billion 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.
The team said: “It was a great pleasure to work with Alpha Bank and Eksfin on this sustainable financing project. Our effective cooperation 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”.