Lease Finance

Lease financing and similar transactions can offer businesses an efficient and, in some cases, tax-advantaged method of ensuring access to equipment and facilities without investing significant amounts of cash or incurring heavy debt. The experienced lawyers of McGuireWoods’ lease finance team represent lessors, lessees and other parties in a broad range of lease transactions and other equipment and facility financing programs.

With lawyers in Charlotte, New York, Chicago, Richmond and Baltimore, we have represented many of nation’s most active lenders, including major global and regional banks and their various lending divisions, as well as numerous Fortune 100 and mid-sized companies. We have worked on facilities and equipment transactions for clients active in a broad range of industries, including telecommunications, aircraft, aerospace equipment, railcars and locomotives, barges, yachts, computer equipment, manufacturing and electric utilities, as well as on deals involving real estate and related improvements.

General Leasing Matters

We regularly represent lessors, lessees, equity investors, lenders, agents and borrowers in transactions ranging in size from $10 million up to $1.4 billion, including domestic and cross-border leveraged leases, synthetic leases, municipal leases, tax-exempt lease financings, qualified tax credit bond lease financings, true leases and loans in syndicated and single investor structures.

To help clients achieve maximum savings, we provide counsel on state tax-advantaged structures, tax implications of true lease and service contract structures, commercial paper fundings through single and multiple conduits, and 1031 like-kind exchanges. We have extensive knowledge of tax and accounting requirements, such as SFAS 13, 66 and 98 and FIN 46R (as amended by SFAS 167), and are experienced in structuring sale-leaseback and other lease transactions that are responsive to the accounting, tax and financial needs of our clients.

Portfolio Sales and Acquisitions

Our lawyers represent lessors and equity investors in the acquisition and disposition of lease portfolios consisting of rail assets, aircraft, co-generation facilities, vessels and other miscellaneous equipment. In addition, we represent clients in the creation of lease purchase programs for both tax and tax-exempt lease portfolios under which portfolios or deals within portfolios are sold over time by utilizing master program documentation.

Vendor Financing Transactions

We advise vendor finance companies in a wide range of sales finance programs, including wholesale funding programs, discrete portfolio acquisitions, master lease purchase programs, residual advance programs, software-only programs and private label programs. We have extensive experience with sophisticated recourse programs and the transfer of lease receivables and other assets using bankruptcy-remote special purpose entities. We work closely with our vendor finance clients to structure customized finance programs that meet the financial objectives of all parties.

Real Estate Transactions

Drawing on the firm’s broad experience in general corporate and real estate acquisition matters, McGuireWoods’ leas finance team maintains a national presence in the sale-leaseback and synthetic lease industry. We represent equity, credit tenant and senior lender participants, as well as mezzanine lenders and other real estate capital providers, in real estate lease finance transactions. We handle lease financing transactions, single asset-purchasers, build-to-suit transactions and portfolio acquisitions and dispositions.

Tax-Exempt, Taxable and Tax Credit Municipal Lease Transactions

We regularly serve as lessor’s counsel, bond counsel, and special tax counsel in connection with a broad spectrum of traditional municipal lease financings for governmental lessees, including taxing districts, state-level issuers and their various political subdivisions and others. We have been involved with projects that span the universe of municipal capital financings, including new money and refinancings of water and sewer system equipment, airport facilities, secondary school facilities, university facilities, vehicle fleets and port equipment.

We have extensive experience in financings using tax credit and direct pay subsidies taking the form of qualified zone academy bonds, qualified school construction bonds and build America bonds. In addition, we assist lessors in tax-exempt true and capital lease financings for a variety of non-profit institutions, including health care providers. The group regularly represents purchasers and sellers of tax-exempt obligations in the secondary market.

Energy Transactions

The McGuireWoods lease finance team has depth in a variety of energy-related projects. We have participated in tax-exempt financings of energy performance projects for a variety of general and special purpose governmental borrowers, including the federal government and secondary market transactions related to such financings. Moreover, we have worked on projects generating electricity from solar, hydroelectric, wind and biomass facilities. Some of these projects have involved the use of clean renewable energy bonds, new clean renewable energy bonds and qualified energy conservation bonds.