White & Case and Zepos & Yannopoulos have advised the EIF and the EBRD on a EUR 130 million securitization of automotive leases originated by Olympic Commercial and Tourist Enterprises S.A., a car leasing company in Greece and master franchisee of the Avis Budget Group. Avis was advised by Norton Rose Fulbright and, reportedly, Kyriakides Georgopoulos, while Hogan Lovells and, reportedly, M&P Bernitsas, advised lead manager and sole arranger Citi and co-lead manager Piraeus Bank.
According to Norton Rose Fulbright, Olympic, which is a joint venture between Koc Holding and Avis Budget Group, "operates the Avis Budget business in Greece. The securitization consisted of four tranches of notes (the pari passu ranking Class A1, Class A2, and Class A3 Notes and the junior ranking Class B Notes), issued by Cronus Finance DAC, an Irish SPV. Cronus Finance used the proceeds of the note issue to acquire a portfolio of auto leases from Olympic. The transaction also contained a replenishment feature, whereby the proceeds of payments under the auto leases can be used to acquire additional leases for a limited period. The three tranches of Class A Notes, with a total principal amount of EUR 130 million were placed with two supranational investors (the EIF and the EBRD) and one Dutch institutional investor."
According to Zepos & Yannopoulos, the “EIF and [the] EBRD invested EUR 43 million and EUR 37 million in the transaction, respectively; a Dutch institutional investor invested an additional EUR 50 million, backed-up by EIF’s guarantee." The firm described the transaction as "an important milestone for the Greek securitization market as it is the largest issuance by a non-bank originator and the first auto lease asset-backed security transaction in the country to have a sustainable and green element." According to the firm, "it is the first securitization in Greece since 2010 that achieved an investment-grade rating by two rating agencies, S&P Global Ratings Europe Limited and Fitch Ratings Limited. It is the first successful Greek ABS issuance since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Zepos & Yannopoulos reports that part of the proceeds will be used by Avis to replace its existing fleet with lower CO2-emitting, electric, and hybrid vehicles.
Zepos & Yannopoulos’s team included Partner Christina Papanikolopoulou, Senior Associate Paris Tzoumas, and Associate Niki Ignatidi.
Norton Rose Fulbright's team included Istanbul-based Partner Ayse Yuksel Mahfoud and London-based Partner David Shearer, Senior Associate Rae Parsons, and Associate Thomas Lysaght.
Hogan Lovells' team in London included Partners Julian Craughan and Philip Harle, Counsel David Palmer, Senior Associate Sebastian Oebels, and Associates Steven Minke and Natasha Newey.
White & Case's team in London included Partners Debashis Dey and Ingrid York and, in Dubai, Counsels Claudio Medeossi and Xuan Jin and Associate Adam Gao.