AVELLUM advises on large infrastructure financing deal

AVELLUM acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”) in connection with a senior secured loan of up to EUR2.6 million to Negabarit-Service LLC (“Company”), a Ukrainian leader in the oversized and complex auto cargo transportations.

The loan will help financing the Company’s investment programme for the acquisition of up to 42 trucks equipped with advanced GPS systems and 18 trailers. Industrial customers across Ukraine and the EU will have access to a wider range of oversized cargo transport services following the transaction.

The new trucks will decrease the Company’s operating costs by at least 30% due to a reduction in fuel consumption and maintenance expenditure. The new vehicles will be compliant with EURO-6 or higher emissions standards, which will help decreasing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 80% and carbon oxide (CO) by 22%.

The EBRD is the largest international investor in Ukraine, which has provided almost EUR13.1 billion to fund approximately 418 projects since 1993.

The AVELLUM team was led by senior partner Glib Bondar with support from counsel Maria Tsabal and associates Oleksandra Kupriichuk and Anna Kalabska.

If you would like to get more information, please visit https://avellum.com/en

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Purplebricks CEO departs, as firm scales back global expansion

Purplebricks founder and chief executive Michael Bruce has left the online estate agent as the firm announced it will exit Australia and place its US operations under review.

Mr Bruce will step down from Purplebricks with immediate effect, just months after shares in the firm tumbled when it cut annual revenue guidance and announced the departure of the bosses of its UK and US units.

Replacing him will be Vic Darvey, previously the company’s chief operating officer.

Chairman Paul Pindar thanked Mr Bruce for his contribution to the creation and development of Purplebricks, but added that the firm had got things drastically wrong over the past year.

“We are very conscious that the group’s performance has been disappointing over the last 12 months and we sincerely apologise to shareholders for that.

“With hindsight, our rate of geographic expansion was too rapid and as a result the quality of execution has suffered.

“We have also made sub-optimal decisions in allocating capital. We will learn from these errors and will not make them again.”

Purplebricks bemoaned “increasingly challenging” conditions in Australia and confessed to “execution errors”, adding that returns from the nation are “not sufficient to justify continued investment”.

It will now commence an “orderly run down” with immediate effect, pending closure.

In the US, Purplebricks has put its operations under review.

The firm said: “Whilst good progress has been made in launching our brand across the US, the board has materially cut investment in marketing and other overheads to reduce expenditure to sustainable levels and begun a strategic review.”

In February, Purplebricks warned over headwinds in the Australian housing market when it admitted that it does not expect to meet revenue forecasts for the year.

In the US, the company cautioned that there has been a “slower-than-expected response” to its marketing initiative and it also does not expect US revenue to meet expectations.

To compound matters, last month analysts downgraded the online estate agent and said it would have to raise fresh cash.

Berenberg warned in a research note that the group should either give up on its international expansion plans or raise more funding as it slashed its rating from buy to sell.

It cited a slowdown in Purplebricks’ core UK market, as well as tough conditions in Australia and the US.

Purplebricks confirmed that it expects revenue to be within the £130 million to £140 million range it guided for in February and cash balances will be no lower than £62 million.

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National Infrastructure Awards winners announced

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has announced the winners of the 2019 National Infrastructure Awards.

Convened annually, the Awards recognise excellence in public administration and business, across major projects.

The Awards were overseen by an independent judging panel, comprising:

  • Ms Leilani Frew, Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Project and Financing Agency (Chair)
  • Ms Kim Curtain, Interim Deputy Secretary, Trade, Tourism, Investment and Precincts, NSW Treasury
  • Dr Steven Kennedy PSM, Secretary, Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
  • Mr Jason Loos, Director, Department of Treasury and Finance, Victoria
  • Mr Neil Scales, Director-General, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads

The winners and finalists for each category in the 2019 Awards are as follows:

Project of the Year: Westconnex

Winner/s: NSW Treasury and Transport for NSW (Roads and Maritime Services) and their advisors Allens, Ashurst, BIS Oxford Economics, Clayton Utz, GHD, Goldman Sachs, Newgate Australia, Turner & Townsend, and PwC. Sydney Transport Partners (Transurban, AustralianSuper, Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, and Tawreed Investments) and their advisors; Advisian, Aquasia, Clifford Chance, EY, E3 Advisory, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills, King & Wood Mallesons, KPMG, Macquarie Capital, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and WSP.

Finalists:

  • Canberra Light Rail – ACT Government (Transport Canberra) and their advisors; Arup, Clayton Utz, EY, HASSEL Studio, RPS Group, Sparke Helmore, Turner & Townsend, and WSP. Canberra Metro Consortium (Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments, CPB Contractors, John Holland, Mitsubishi Corporation, MUFG, Pacific Partnerships and UGL) and their advisors; AECOM, Architectus, CAF, Herbert Smith Freehills, R-Co, and SMEC.
  • Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project – The Alliance (comprising of Aurecon, CPB Contractors, Lendlease, Metro Trains Melbourne, WSP), Arcadis, Level Crossing Removal Project, and Major Transport Infrastructure Program.
  • Wentworth to Broken Hill Pipeline – GHD, Jacobs, John Holland, MPC Kinetic, TRILITY, and WaterNSW

Advisory Excellence Award: Sydney Metro Martin Place integrated development

Winner/s: Advisors to Transport for NSW; Ashurst, CBRE, KPMG. Advisors to Macquarie Group; Herbert Smith Freehills, Macquarie Capital, MinterEllison, PwC, and Arup.

Finalists:

  • Infrastructure Victoria’s Advice on Automated and Zero Emissions Vehicles Infrastructure – Infrastructure Victoria
  • Sydney Metro Northwest OTS – Turner and Townsend
  • WestConnex Transaction – Advisors to the NSW Government; Allens, Ashurst, BIS Oxford Economics, Clayton Utz, GHD, Newgate Australia, PwC, and Turner & Townsend. Advisors to Sydney Transport Partners; Advisian, Clifford Chance, EY, E3 Advisory, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills, King & Wood Mallesons, KPMG, and WSP

Financial Excellence Award: Westconnex transaction

Winner/s: Financial Advisors to the NSW Government; Goldman Sachs, and NSW Treasury. Financial Advisors to Sydney Transport Partners; Aquasia, Macquarie Capital, Morgan Stanley, and UBS.

Finalists:

  • Agribo, Centre for Agribioscience Refinancing – Plenary Group
  • for Darling Harbour Live Refinancing – Capella Capital
  • Kwinana Waste to Energy – Macquarie Capital

Government Partnership Excellence Award: The Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project

Winner/s: The Alliance (comprising of Aurecon, CPB Contractors, Lendlease, Metro Trains Melbourne, WSP), Level Crossing Removal Project, and Major Transport Infrastructure Program.

Finalists:

  • Canberra Light Rail – ACT Government (Transport Canberra), and Canberra Metro Consortium (Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments, CPB Contractors, John Holland, Mitsubishi Corporation, MUFG, Pacific Partnerships and UGL)
  • Metro Tunnel Project: Rail Projects Victoria and PwC Indigenous Consulting Partnership – PwC’s Indigenous Consulting and Rail Projects Victoria
  • Sydney Metro Martin Place Integrated Station Development – Macquarie Group, Sydney Metro, Transport for NSW

Contractor Excellence Award: Wentworth to Broken Hill pipeline

Winner/s: John Holland and MPC Kinetic

Finalists:

  • Bruce Highway Boundary Road Interchange – BMD Constructions
  • Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project – CPB Contractors and Lendlease
  • M80 Ring Road Upgrade: Sunshine Avenue to Calder Freeway – Fulton Hogan

Operator and Service Provider Excellence Award: TasWater for the Regional Towns Water Supply Program – Stages 2 and 3

Winner/s: KBR, TasWater, and TRILITY

Finalists:

  • Queensland Schools Project – Plenary Schools Consortium (Plenary Group, DeltaFM and Watpac) and Queensland Department of Education
  • Incident Management Response – Transurban and Ventia

Innovation Excellence Award: uninterruptible power supply for Melbourne’s railway signalling network

Winner/s: AECOM, AEG, Metro Trains Melbourne, Public Transport Victoria, and Thycon

Finalists:

  • Dynamic Speed Management Trial – Transurban and VicRoads
  • Kwinana Waste to Energy – Acciona, Dutch Infrastructure Fund, Keppel-Seghers, Macquarie Capital, Phoenix Energy Australia, and Veolia
  • M80 Ring Road Upgrade: Sunshine Avenue to Calder Freeway – Cowri and Fulton Hogan

In addition, John Holland’s Simon Lehman won the Future Infrastructure Leader of the Year Award. Infrastructure Partnerships Australia said that Mr Lehmans’ profile stood out to the judging panel amongst all the other entries because of his extraordinary commitment to the infrastructure sector.

The judges found that Mr Lehman has proven to be a major asset and path-breaking engineer for the John Holland rail team. His on-the-job mentoring of younger team members and his exceptional work at the forefront of infrastructure delivery was exemplary.

Moreover, Major Road Project Victoria’s Alexis Davidson won the Award for Women’s Achievement in Infrastructure.

Ms Davidson has had a long and successful career in infrastructure over the last two decades. The judging panel said they were particularly impressed by her strong leadership and mentorship of other female engineers in the sector.

The judges praised Ms Davidson for consistently delivering outstanding business cases for Major Road Project Victoria and developing an impressive reputation for her innovative thinking and professionalism as a female engineer at the forefront of infrastructure delivery.

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Transport & Logistics – The Shipping Law Review

Our partner, Larry John Rabb Carvalho, was chosen to write the chapter about Maritime Law in Brazil, in the fifth The Shipping Law Review’s edition, of the editorial “The Law Reviews”. The UK publication, in several jurisdictions, conduct a research of law firms and lawyers with expertise in strategic litigation, selecting them, along with internationally renowned experts, to contribute to the editorial.

Each book is focused in one area of law, and each chapter is written by a renowned lawyer to address your country’s law on relevant matters on the international scenario.

Adopting as a central theme the maritime transport regulatory framework in the nations with the largest maritime transportation, the publish “Shipping Review” aim to provide those working in the segment with an overview of the main problems faced in the area and potential solutions.

The honor of participating in the renowned editorial was highlighted by Larry Carvalho. “We are grateful and honored to have been chosen to contribute and expose to the Shipping market, its current scenario in Brazil and its legal framework.” While national boundaries and laws differentiate us, Shipping unite us in favor of universality of its rules, in order to guarantee greater legal security for all its players,” he said.

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Linn Crull receives Award of Excellence from Ball State University

Accounting and advisory firm, Whitinger & Company, is pleased to announce that Member/Owner Linn Crull, CPA received the Paul W. Parkison Department of Accounting Award of Excellence for 2019 from Ball State University.

On April 29th, 2019, the Paul W. Parkison Department of Accounting hosted its 10th Annual Alumni Awards Dinner at the Ball State University Alumni Center. This event provides an excellent opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of some of its most distinguished alumni. This year, members of the Department’s Advisory Council selected Linn Crull to receive the Award of Excellence, one of the top awards bestowed upon alumni. The award is given to accounting department alumni who have positions of distinction in academia, business, or government and demonstrate outstanding success in their field.

Linn has served in the role of managing partner for the firm for nearly 20 years and has guided it through acquisitions, implementation of a strategic plan, expansion of professional services, their location of company headquarters in 2007, and the opening of a second office in the Indianapolis market. He is also an active accountant specializing in tax planning and compliance services, as well as small business consulting. A native of Cambridge City, Indiana, Crull joined Whitinger & Company in 1979 after graduating from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.

Linn is a member of the East Central Indiana Estate Planning Council and is a past president of the Muncie Chapter of the Indiana CPA Society; as well as a former board member of the Indiana CPA Society. He also chaired the State CPA Society’s Management of Accounting Practice Committee and was a trustee for the Society’s Educational Foundation. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Linn is a long-standing member of Muncie Rotary, where he recently served as a board member. He is a board member for Cardinal Greenways and Great Muncie Area Council on Youth Leadership. He also serves as a Director of MututalFirst Financial and the MutualBank Charitable Foundation; is a current board member & treasurer of Muncie Mission Ministries and a member of the Muncie Children’s Museum Advisory Board. Linn and his family are members of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Muncie where he previously served as chairman of the finance committee.

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MBH Ranked as Top 100 Global Disputes Firm by GAR 2019

Following last week’s announcement that Legal 500 ranked Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy as a top tier law firm in all practice areas, we are honored to share with you that Global Arbitration Review’s 12th edition of GAR 100, puts MBH as a top 100 global disputes firm in 2019.

“Matouk Bassiouny lawyers manage to provide international class legal expertise with impeccable English, in an easy to understand manner […] They also have a depth of experience in local law matters and the policies and procedures that apply in Egypt. This makes them very rare in the Egyptian market […]”

We would like to sincerely thank our clients for their continued trust in Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy and congratulate the arbitration team on their excellent work and continued success.

If you would like to get more information, please visit https://matoukbassiouny.com/