New York — August 1, 2006 – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – Chadbourne & Parke LLP represented Panda Ethanol, Inc. in a $188 million debt financing for a 100 million gallon per year ethanol plant to be located in the Texas panhandle.
The first-of-its-kind plant, located in Hereford, will generate the steam used to manufacture ethanol by gasifying cattle manure. Once operational in 2007, the plant’s ethanol output will replace the equivalent of 2.4 million barrels of imported gasoline per year.
The project, located on a 380 acre site, is also the largest ethanol facility in Texas, and will be the largest biomass-fueled ethanol plant in the United States.
The deal closed in two parts — the bank loan and subordinated debt portion of the financing on July 28 and a municipal bond portion on July 31. Panda Energy International is the largest shareholder in Panda Ethanol, Inc.
Leading a team of Chadbourne lawyers on the financing was Washington DC office project finance partner Neil Golden. Also working on the deal were New York corporate partner Charles Hord and DC tax partner Keith Martin. DC associates Jim Scarrow, Micaela Garcia-Ribeyro and Kimberley Arigbede also worked on the deal. New York partner Todd Alexander and Houston associate Jonathan Phillips assisted Panda with certain project documents.
Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking arranged the senior debt financing, consisting of a $158.1 million senior secured credit facility, which included a $5 million working capital facility and a letter of credit supporting $50 million in tax exempt bonds issued by the Red River Authority of Texas. The project also has another $30 million subordinated debt credit facility.
Chadbourne is working on deals with two billion gallons of ethanol production in the works. The Firm has a 40% share of the legal market for complex ethanol financing deals, and earlier this year, it closed a deal for a bank syndicate that marked the biggest ethanol financing deal in U.S. history at $423 million. West LB was lead arranger and agent for a syndicate of 17 senior lenders for the financing for three ethanol plants.
About Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Chadbourne & Parke LLP, an international law firm headquartered in New York City, provides a full range of legal services, including mergers and acquisitions, securities, project finance, corporate finance, energy, telecommunications, commercial and products liability litigation, securities litigation and regulatory enforcement, special investigations and litigation, intellectual property, antitrust, domestic and international tax, insurance and reinsurance, environmental, real estate, bankruptcy and financial restructuring, employment law and ERISA, trusts and estates and government contract matters. The Firm has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kyiv, Almaty, Warsaw (through a Polish partnership), Beijing, and a multinational partnership, Chadbourne & Parke, in London. For additional information, visit www.chadbourne.com.