12 May – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Herbert Smith has advised CE Electric UK Funding Company and its subsidiaries Northern Electric Distribution Limited and Yorkshire Electricity Distribution plc on new funding arrangements involving both bank lending and long term bonds.
CE Electric UK is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a US-based, privately-owned global provider of energy services. Through its UK subsidiaries, Northern Electric Distribution Limited and Yorkshire Electricity Distribution plc, CE Electric UK distributes electricity to end-user customers in the North-East of England and in Yorkshire.
The deal includes a five-year £100 million committed facility with The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and Lloyds TSB Bank plc.
The long term bonds comprise £150 million 5.125% bonds due 2035 issued by Northern Electric Finance plc, guaranteed by Northern Electric Distribution Limited and guaranteed as to scheduled payments of principal and interest by Ambac Assurance UK Limited; and £200 million 5.125% bonds due 2035 issued by Yorkshire Electricity Distribution plc, guaranteed as to scheduled payments of principal and interest by Ambac.
The bonds were issued on May 5 2005 and The Royal Bank of Scotland plc was the lead manager of both issues, with Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers and JPMorgan Cazenove as managers.
In connection with the issue of the bonds, CE Electric UK entered into agreements amending certain terms and conditions of its 7.25% bonds due 2022, which are also guaranteed as to scheduled payments of principal and interest by Ambac.
CE Electric UK announced that the transactions would provide liquidity to the group to meet its refinancing obligations and would establish a stable financing platform for the future.
Herbert Smith finance partners Jason Fox and Jake Jackaman led the team advising CE Electric UK on the bank financing and bond financing respectively. They were assisted by Sau Ling Foong, Adrian Cheng, Tim Briggs and Olivia Caddy.
“We were pleased to be able to assist CE Electric UK and its subsidiaries with this financing package which was executed to a fairly aggressive timetable. We have a long association with the companies and their US parent – the efficient execution was the result of a great team effort by all concerned.”
The Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB were advised by Clifford Chance.