Perspectives

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Analysis
04 March 2022

Deals of the Year 2021 North America: The winners podium

Region:
Americas
Fallout from the pandemic started receding in 2021, but it was still a tougher market than normal for those North American project borrowers and lenders bringing first-time project credits and innovation to the market.

The North American project and infrastructure finance market is still a hotbed of creativity. For most sponsors and banks 2020 was a year of clinging on, and then regrouping, in the face of disruptions to work patterns and key markets. But 2021 was about bringing new financial products to work in growing markets, reviving dormant distribution channels and tackling new assets in both the energy and infrastructure spheres.

Behind many of the highlight financings of 2021 was the remorseless progress of the energy transition. The concept of the transition has quickly morphed from a catch-phrase among policy-makers into a usable set of guiderails for investments in the energy sector. It calls on banks to put more capital to work in decarbonising electicity generation, leverage conventional assets for investment in newer technologies, and look carefully at how emerging power and decarbonisation technologies can become bankable faster.

The one advantage of the (so far) receding pandemic is that Proximo was able to recognise the year’s groundbreaking North American transactions - and the firms that made them happen - at an in-person awards ceremony in New York. The list of winners follows:

Awards to firms:

North America Law Firm of the Year 2021 

Milbank

A repeat winner. Milbank appeared on most of the market’s highest-profile deals and seriously impressed Proximo’s judging panel.

 

North America Financial Adviser of the Year 2021

EY

A strong spread of public and private engagements, including several benchmark PPPs

 

North America Bank of the Year 2021

MUFG

Maintained an iron grip on the US power market, bolstered its private placement capabilities in a variety of sectors

 

North America Sponsor of the Year 2021

Arclight Capital Partners

A true embodiment of the energy transition. Big ticket midstream and conventional power acquisitions, and continues success as a SPAC sponsor

 

Deals of the Year

 

North America P3

Empire State Thruway 

A first PAB financing for a rest area refurbishment project

 

North America Water

Fargo-Moorhead

A huge multi-sourced P3 for a flood resilience asset. Likely, alas, to become much more common as an asset class

 

North America Transport

Central 70 Refinancing

Marks the debut of TIFIA anticipation notes - a creative way to re-work a toll road concession

 

North America Digital Infrastructure

Southern Manitoba Fiber

Using concessional debt products, rather than grants, to support rural broadband development

 

North America Leisure

Climate Pledge Arena

Blending private debt sources to refurbish a landmark venue in Seattle

 

North America Power

CPV Maryland

CPV made the most of unpromising timing to re-open the US power term B market

 

North America Portfolio

AMP Energy junior holdco

Not exclusively North America, but a huge leap forward in institutional lender support for construction holdco debt 

 

North America Onshore Wind

Shepherd’s Flat Repowering

Strong debt market support for a repowering of an iconic wind asset

 

North America Solar

Athos III and Radian

First two phases of a large quasi-merchant solar and storage portfolio

 

North America Emerging Energy

Florida Pipeline Holdings and Florida Pipeline Funding

NextEra leverages its midstream assets to accelerate renewables development

 

North America Offshore and Overall North America

Vineyard 1

Proper offshore wind finance arrives in the US at last

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