High-value investment banking mandates in the power and renewables sector are fiercely fought over by a handful of very capable firms, but Morgan Stanley stood out in 2019 because of its role in several large, complicated or market-shaping transactions and excellent feedback received from clients.

Among the accomplishments that attracted the most attention was the paradigm-shifting investment-grade-rated project bond for Ares Management’s Hill Top Energy Center, for which Morgan Stanley served as bookrunner.

The project finance team, led by Michael Kumar, was also involved in several of the more notable leveraged finance deals in the power sector.

Morgan Stanley was left lead on the term loan B refinancing of Blackstone’s 1,108 MW Lonestar Generation merchant power portfolio in Texas and a $1.4 billion term loan B for LS Power’s 4.8 GW Granite Generation portfolio.

“They’re historically very, very strong in power term loan B deals, and continue to be,” says a client. “They have a very strong syndication desk and very seasoned project finance guys in their levfin group.”

Besides Kumar, the judges commended the work of Cody Gunsch, Seth Kisch and Jeremy Smilovitz.

Morgan Stanley was also financial adviser on the capital raise for Caithness Energy’s 1,836 MW Guernsey Power Station in Ohio, rounding up preferred equity from BlackRock and junior debt from AMP Capital.

The M&A team, led by Todd Giardelli, handled prominent deals including NRG Energy’s $1 billion sale of its South Central Generating portfolio to Cleco Corporate Holdings and Duke Energy’s sale of a 49% stake in its commercial renewables portfolio to John Hancock Life Insurance Co.

Alongside its core investment banking services in M&A and capital markets, Morgan Stanley offers a wide range of products and solutions to power and renewable energy clients, from commodity hedges to balance sheet lending and tax equity.

See all of the 2019/2020 awards

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