Asset finance

Whether it is private aircraft, yachts, antique cars, art, collectibles or other non-financial investments, luxury assets should be a pleasure rather than a headache. No law firm is better placed than Withers to help you make the most of them.

Our clients include a significant number of the wealthiest individuals and families around the world. This has given us significant experience in advising on the acquisition, ownership and use of high-value luxury assets.

We advise on all aspects of aviation finance, including the financing, dry leasing and wet leasing of all types of aircraft. We also advise on the financing of aircraft engines, components and spare parts. ‘Each year we handle a number of private plane deals and demand is as high as ever’ says David Dannreuther, a leading partner in our London banking and finance team.

Recent work has included advising on and negotiating the purchase of a private aircraft for a Grammy Award-winning recording artist, including the preparation of aircraft management and charter services agreements. And we represented a client from the CIS in the purchase of a private Boeing 737 business jet, drafting an agreement for a loan secured against the aircraft.

Our team also covers the construction, purchase, registration and operation of yachts and other seagoing vessels, as well as coordinating the international legal advice required.

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Recognition

Meet the team

How the team can help

Track record

Major international bank

We advised a major international bank in the financing of six aircraft sold by a major US airline to a leasing company and then to Swedish limited partnerships.

An aircraft investment company

We advised an aircraft investment company on the purchase from Sumitomo Bank of 2 Cayman Island companies as lessors of two Boeing 767-204 ER and on their operating leases with a South Asian national carrier.

PT Bakrie Kalila Investment sale and lease back transaction of a Bombardier corporate jet

We acted for PT Bakrie Kalila Investment on the successful sale and lease back transaction of a Bombardier corporate jet. This transaction was financed via issuance of a promissory note and was closed using escrow arrangements due to numerous interested parties involved and where sale/release of the aircraft has to be done simultaneously.

Multi-jurisdictional bilateral and syndicated loans

We acted for several international financiers in numerous multi-jurisdictional bilateral or syndicated loans for the pre-delivery and/or post-delivery financing of vessels in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Panama, Hong Kong, Liberia, Marshall Islands and Norway. Financiers include Singaporean, Norwegian, Japanese, German, Swiss, Dutch and Chinese banks and US-based lending companies.

USD$39 million loan for the financing of two vessels

We acted for a Chinese bank in a USD$39 million loan for the financing of two vessels flagged in Hong Kong. Security for this loan included the provision of a put option for the purchase or bareboat charter of the vessels in an event of default, as well as the provision of a guarantee from a Chinese state-owned company.

Financing, re-financing, acquisition and leasing of a Boeing 737-800

We acted for an Irish aircraft leasing company in the financing and subsequent re-financing, acquisition and leasing of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft leased to an Indonesian operator and subleased to that Indonesian operator’s newly established Malaysian subsidiary. The aircraft was financed through a warehouse facility with a Swiss bank and later refinanced via a term loan with a French bank in Singapore.

Pre- and post-delivery financing of four vessels

For the pre-delivery and post-delivery financing of four vessels being built by a Korean shipyard, we acted for a Singaporean bank in a USD$410 million secured term loan made to the Singapore SGX listed borrower.

Sale and leaseback of eight aircraft

In addition to providing legal due diligence on the issue of aircraft owning and leasing in Singapore, we acted as Singapore counsel to aircraft financing subsidiaries of an English bank in the sale and leaseback of eight aircraft operated by a Singapore airline.

Discharge of mortgages over 41 Singapore-flagged, Hong Kong-flagged and Liberian-flagged vessels

We acted for a German bank, a Finnish bank and a Norwegian bank in Singapore in the discharge of mortgages over 41 Singapore-flagged, Hong Kong-flagged and Liberian-flagged vessels owned by an Indonesian shipping company. The discharge of mortgages was made simultaneous with the refinancing and global restructuring of that Indonesian shipping company’s debt.

SG$549 million refinancing of Capital Square in Singapore

Acted together with MEAG, the asset manager of Munich Re (one of the world's leading reinsurers and risk carriers) and ERGO (one of the major insurance groups in Europe) in the SG$549 million refinancing transaction obtained by Queensley Holdings Limited for the commercial building in Singapore known as 'Capital Square'. Our Client subscribed for all the SG$151 million secured junior notes and SG$78 million of the preferred shares issued by Queensley Holdings Limited as part of the refinancing.

US telecommunication companies asset acquisitions

We assisted US based and NYSE listed telecommunication companies in various assets acquisitions in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

€130 million yacht refinancing

Advised on the financing agreements for the refinancing of a €130 million yacht with cross-collateralisation over two Boeing Business Jets.

Refinancing of a Boeing Business Jet

Advised on the financing agreements for the refinancing of a Boeing Business Jet for an ultra-high-net-worth Russian client.

Purchase of a Gulfstream G550

Advised on the purchase of a Gulfstream G550 for an Isle of Man company with advice on UK tax structuring and registration of ownership structure for VAT purposes.

Change of corporate structure for a Dassault Falcon aircraft

Advised on a restructuring involving changing a Dassault Falcon aircraft’s current corporate structure to a new limited partnership arrangement with variation of flight crew arrangements.

Swap of a Bombardier G500 for a corporate jet

Advised on the swap of a Bombardier G500 for an Airbus Corporate Jet.

Simultaneous acquisition and sale of business jets

Advised on a simultaneous purchase of a US$38 million business jet and sale of a US$8 million business jet for a German client, including advising on brokerage arrangements, valuation issues, service agreements, letters of intent, Federal Aviation Administration registration and trust issues, and International Registry issues.

Purchase of a US$17 million Embraer aircraft

Advised on the purchase of a US$17 million Embraer aircraft for a Russian client, including negotiating letter of intent and purchase contract, co-ordination of valuation and inspection experts, mitigation of European VAT, International Registry issues, and financing.

Aircraft contracts for high-net-worth individuals

Advised on aircraft contracts for high-net-worth individuals with major fractional ownership providers, including NetJets, CitationAir, Flight Options and PlaneSense.

Acquisition and financing of a US$32 million Dassault Falcon

Advised on the acquisition and financing of a US$32 million Dassault Falcon aircraft for a Bermudan single purpose company and its leasing to a Delaware LLC, as well as the latter’s operating agreement with a Brazilian company.

Aircraft lease financings in North and South America

Advised on the development of multiple leveraged, tax-advantaged aircraft lease financings in North and South America for one of Israel’s largest aircraft companies.

Acquisition of a corporate jet for a high-net-worth Saudi Arabian

Advised on the purchase of a large corporate jet from a member of a leading family of a Gulf state, including advice on UK VAT, for a high-net-worth Saudi Arabian.

Purchase of a Norseman motor yacht

Advised on the purchase of a Norseman motor yacht for an Australian entrepreneur and its registration under the Italian flag and subsequent transfer to the Australian flag.

Sale of two 35m plus luxury yachts

Advised on the sale of two 35m plus luxury yachts for a family office of an ultra-high-net-worth individual.

Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology pre-conditional voluntary general offer for STATS ChipPAC

We acted as joint-lead deal counsel for Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology advising on multiple aspects of a US$780 million (SG$1.03 billion) pre-conditional voluntary general offer for STATS ChipPAC (including financing arrangements). This transaction won the Asian Legal Business SE Asia Law Awards 2016 Asset and Corporate Finance Deal of the Year and the Singapore Business Review Business Ranking Awards 2015 Deal of the Year.

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