London, 24 July 2006 – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – Baker & McKenzie…

London, 24 July 2006 – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – Baker & McKenzie, London announced today that it has closed the securities arbitrage leg of the National Australia Bank sponsored CentreStar US$10 Billion asset-backed commercial paper conduit. Acting for National Australia Bank, the Baker & McKenzie team advised in relation to the establishment of special purpose vehicles and funding arrangements which will enable the conduit to purchase debt securities and arbitrage against the funding cost of the commercial paper. The structure also involves the use of a credit default swap providing credit enhancement.

The transaction involved both the London and New York offices of Baker & McKenzie since the documentation was both English law and New York law governed.

The establishment of the securities arbitrage side of the CentreStar conduit follows the set up of the asset receivables side of the conduit in September 2005. A number of the Baker & McKenzie team acted on that transaction for National Australia Bank while based at Norton Rose.

The CentreStar conduit is the first European commercial paper conduit to be sponsored by National Australia Bank and represents the bank’s commitment to securitisation in Europe.

London-based Global Securitisation Co-Head Jonathan Walsh commented: “We are very pleased to have completed this important transaction for National Australia Bank and to have been able to provide our client with structured finance representation in both New York and London, thanks to the unparalleled international coverage offered by the Baker & McKenzie network.”

Baker & McKenzie fielded an international team to advise National Australia Bank, which included Global Securitisation Co-Head, Jonathan Walsh and derivatives partner, Bruce Somer, senior associate Rebecca Ford and associates Ed Bracken and Alyona Smith and tax partner James MacLachlan from London, with advice on New York law issues provided by US securitisation partner Laurence Pettit.

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