Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through - Dominance 2018 (Published: April 2018). For further information please visit www.gettingthedealthrough.com.
What have been the trends over the past year or so in terms of deal activity in the project finance sector in your jurisdiction?
Andrew Petry: There seem to be many business decisions being put on hold pending greater clarity emerging on Brexit and its implications. What many businesses have done is to make contingency plans and some have taken action with the hope of making themselves as Brexit-proof as possible. This is true of the energy and infrastructure sectors as much as any other sector. The exchange last June by Mrs May of her position as the head of a minority government has significantly harmed her ability to exercise control over the Brexit process. She is forced to balance the opposing wings of her party and one of the effects of thus balancing act is a decline in business confidence. Time is marching on and so clear contours of the United Kingdom's future relationship with the European Union will need to emerge soon.
Simon Kenolty: To date, few if any investors have announced an intention to stop investing in energy and infrastructure assets in the United Kingdom although we have noticed a dip in the level of focus on the UK by energy and infrastructure investors as the eurozone starts picking up, leaving UK growth behind. Nevertheless, as far as investment activity in the United Kingdom over the past year or so is concerned, the picture seems to be consistent with recent UK trends in that the country continues to deliver a significant number of energy and infrastructure finance opportunities no matter what the government is doing. The transactions have been initiated more in the private sector than in the public sector and, according to our research, refinancings outnumbered secondary market sales and primary transactions in each market segment by roughly two transactions to one.
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