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Matheson Advises on Landmark Avis Auto Loan Securitisation Transaction

AUTHORs: Christian Donagh Date: 14/09/2020

Matheson advised Cronus Finance DAC (the “Issuer”) in relation to its issuance of €186.4 million asset backed securities issued in August 2020.  The transaction is a securitisation of Olympic Commercial and Tourist Enterprises Single Member SA’s (“Olympic”) Greek auto loans (hire purchase contracts and leases).  Olympic is a joint-venture between Koç Holding AŞ and Avis Budget Group Inc (“Avis”).  Matheson advised the Issuer in the transaction, on all matters involving Irish law, including capital markets, tax, corporate and regulatory issues during the process.

Citibank Global Markets Limited and Piraeus Bank S.A. acted as the Joint Lead Managers and Arrangers.

The Greek car leasing market is a highly concentrated market with Avis acting as one of the three largest players.  Avis, together with the two other largest players in the Greek car leasing market, maintain an estimated market share of over 80% in aggregate.

Andreas Taprantzis, CEO of Avis Greece, commented that the transaction was noteworthy because it was “the largest non-banking securitisation transaction to date to take place in Greece, and the only one since 2010 to achieve investment grade rating by two major rating agencies”.

Christian Donagh, partner in Matheson’s Finance and Capital Markets Department, who led the Matheson team advising on the transaction, commented: “The transaction was challenging from a number of perspectives so it is a great outcome to see the deal successfully closed and listed. Matheson are delighted to have worked with Citibank on this significant transaction for the asset class and for Greek capital markets.”

The Matheson team was led by Finance and Capital Markets partner Christian Donaghh, who was assisted by Head of Listings, Margot Carty, and senior associate, Alan Bunbury.  Tax partner, Kevin Smith, led the Irish tax advice and was assisted by Greg Lockhart and Matthew Broadstock on Irish VAT advice.