The Dublin office of international legal business DWF has acted for commercial German-based bank Norddeutsche Landesbank (NORD/LB) on a groundbreaking financing in the Irish social housing sector. The €50m transaction involved the devising of an innovative limited-recourse project finance structure for one of the largest Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) in Ireland, Oaklee Housing.
DWF worked with NORD/LB, Oaklee and Centrus to establish a financing structure in order to permit Oaklee (the first AHB to do so) to access committed, long term fixed rate debt from a commercial funder. The financing incorporates the funding support available to AHBs under the Capital Advance Leasing Facility and Payment and Availability structures from the Irish Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
The structure required extensive analysis and expertise in project finance, housing law and real estate. Garrett Monaghan, Head of Projects with partner Michael Neary leading on real estate matters, led the DWF Dublin team. John Scanlon, corporate solicitor, was lead associate throughout the transaction.
Commenting on the transaction, DWF partner Garrett Monaghan, said:
"The provision of affordable housing is a pressing economic and political issue in Ireland. We are pleased to have advised NORD/LB on this innovative financing, which is the bank's first social infrastructure investment in Ireland and an important step in the development of AHB financing. On the island of Ireland, DWF is very active in the energy, infrastructure and real estate sectors. This financing deal demonstrates our market expertise and innovative approach to transaction delivery."
DWF in Dublin has continued to drive growth in the Irish market since launching in 2016. The Dublin office has advised on a number of recent high-profile transactions including Capital Stage AG on its partnership with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to invest in a 140MW portfolio of solar PV projects in addition to several acquisitions and financings in real estate, renewables and infrastructure.