Major firms act in Brisbane’s billion-dollar Queen’s Wharf project

Allens and G+T played roles in the financing of the massive entertainment complex development

Major firms act in Brisbane’s billion-dollar Queen’s Wharf project
Nicholas Adkins

Two major firms have acted in Brisbane’s billion-dollar Queen’s Wharf project.

Allens provided advice to the Destination Brisbane Consortium (DBC), which was awarded the massive project by the Queensland government. Star Entertainment Group, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium make up the consortium.

The integrated resort development, which is located within the Brisbane CBD, is valued at $3.6bn. It will contain entertainment facilities, hotels, numerous dining establishments, a new bridge and private apartments.

Gilbert + Tobin (G+T) served as the legal counsel for the lending syndicate in the $1.6bn financing effort for the project, which will cover construction and operating costs. The syndicate comprised 16 banks in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Singapore, Europe and Australia.

The firm’s team was involved in all aspects of the project financing, “from the inception of the term sheet phase through to agreed long form documents and satisfaction of conditions precedent to first funding,” G+T said. The team also advised on “the tripartite agreements to be entered into with third parties, including the state of Queensland” and conducted “a review of the legal due diligence in the wider context of the project.”

Meanwhile, the Allens team assisted DBC in the financing effort, collaborating with the consortium and with Macquarie, DBC’s financial adviser, “to develop an innovative financing solution to meet the consortium's financing requirements and navigate turbulent financial markets,” the firm said.

Allens said that the Queen’s Wharf project reached financial close at the end of June in spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19-affected environment.

“Being able to complete the project financing, particularly in such challenging market conditions, is a fantastic milestone for DBC,” said Allens lead partner Nicholas Adkins. “We are delighted to have been involved on such a landmark project for the consortium partners and the city of Brisbane, and we are very keen to see the consortium's vision come to life over the next few years as construction is completed.”

Partner Alan Maxton led the Allens team alongside Adkins. They were supported by senior associate Sunny Jong, associate Sam Forsyth, lawyer Jo Ye and graduate Julia Egarr.

G+T lead partner John Schembri congratulated DBC on securing the debt funding, and said that “this exciting construction of a world-class multi-purpose entertainment complex will attract both international and domestic tourism and be a boost to the local economy.”

He was supported by special counsel Rachel Jones and Caroline Mathie as well as consultant Abby McIntosh in working on the transaction.

The Queen’s Wharf complex is expected to be open to the public by late 2022. G+T said that “additional and separate financing will be secured for the residential development portion of the project.”

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