In a market where local banks dominate, HSBC rose to the fore with a diverse flow of loans, including sustainable and event-driven financings. For its prominent role in several standout and widely syndicated loans, HSBC is IFR Asia’s Australia/New Zealand Loan House of the Year.
HSBC stood out as sole sustainability coordinator on five syndicated sustainability-linked loans totalling A$8.2bn-equivalent (US$5.9bn) closed in Australia and three joint roles on other SLLs for another A$5bn combined.
The bank led SLLs for borrowers from a variety of sectors including private healthcare provider Ramsay Health Care, diversified mining and metals company South 32, Chinese-owned contractor John Holland, and winemaker Treasury Wine Estates, helping them put in place robust and meaningful sustainability targets.
Ramsay Health Care’s A$1.5bn SLL completed in June saw HSBC act as sole sustainability coordinator, agent, joint mandated lead arranger and bookrunner, as well as sole ratings adviser.
Its key roles were not just in debut SLLs but also in repeat transactions for borrowers such as infrastructure and engineering service company Downer EDI, which closed a A$1.4bn SLL in October – the second such financing in a year.
Another repeat mandate for HSBC was its role as one of two MLABs on loans totalling US$2.74bn for Macquarie Group, in Asia Pacific’s largest and most widely syndicated borrowing referencing two risk-free benchmark rates. The financings, linked to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate and Sterling Overnight Index Average without the switch language, drew 33 lenders in general syndication.
“We demonstrated our market-leading expertise in risk-free rates assisting a number of borrowers in their transition across multiple currencies while in sustainable finance, a capability that is clearly recognised by our clients, we acted as coordinator on a number of the largest ESG-related financings in Australia,” said Michael Rossiter, head of leveraged, acquisition and syndicated finance at HSBC Bank Australia.
The bank showed its prowess in providing large financings with a lead role as one of two lenders on a A$8.9bn bridge-to-bond financing in December for CSL’s acquisition of Swiss drugmaker Vifor Pharma. The bridge was the largest loan from Australia in 2021 and the country’s third-largest M&A loan.
HSBC also went beyond the traditional bank solutions, leading Term loan B and unitranche financings. The bank was among the arrangers of a US$1.34bn-equivalent financing in September for private equity giant KKR’s acquisition of a 55% stake in Australian wealth manager Colonial First State. HSBC also provided a super senior revolving credit facility in a A$267m financing for private equity firm Livingbridge’s buyout of Everlight Radiology.
Another highlight was NEXTDC’s A$2.5bn loan in November, which added terms enabling its transition into an SLL in the future.
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