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Die Cross-Border-Leasing-AKTE der TIWAG - "The Deal of the Year 2001"

“With this type of business it is always better to keep quiet.“
(TIWAG-Vorstand Hermann Meysel in „Asset Finance International”, April 2002)


Das Vertragswerk, um das es hier geht, ist ein Stapel von 126 eigenständigen Verträgen und Vertragsteilen. Es ist in stocksteifem US-amerikanischen Juristenenglisch abgefaßt, wobei weder das Amerikanisch ins Deutsche, noch das US-Law in österreichisches Rechtsverständnis zu übertragen ist. Der Landeshauptmann hat zwar keine Ahnung, was in diesen Agreements, Documents, Obligations, Considerations, Statements, Rules, Notices, Waivers, Covenants usw. drinsteht, meint aber: „Wir hätten gerne noch eines dieser rentierlichen Geschäfte abgeschlossen.“

Sellrain-Silz, das leistungsstärkste Kraftwerk der TIWAG, ist mit diesem Vertrag bis zum 31. Dezember 2095 an eine US-amerikanische Briefkastenfirma, die im Steuerparadies Delaware ihre Postadresse hat, verleast=verkauft worden. Der dafür bezahlte Kaufpreis geht fast zur Gänze für die Rückmiete für die nächsten dreißig Jahre und die Ansparung auf die dann vorgesehene Rückkauf-Option auf. Nicht mehr als 6,38 Prozent von dem am 21. Dezember 2001 bereits aus den USA eingelangten Kaufpreis für das Speicherkraftwerk Sellrain-Silz verbleiben bei der TIWAG. Das ist natürlich sehr „rentierlich“! (Was kann eigentlich das arme Viech bei den Lappen da oben dafür, von so Einem da herunten so mißbraucht zu werden?)
Zwei US-Konzerne haben einzig und allein für den Sellrain-Silz-Deal einen Trust gegründet, genau genommen beide jeweils zwei, also insgesamt vier Trusts für die beiden Krafthäuser, die beiden Speicherseen und allem Drum und Dran. Da ist einmal Potomac Capital Investment Corporation (Washington), die über ihre beiden Tochterfirmen Potomac Capital Investment Netherlands Corporation und Potomac Nevada Investment jeweils 78,86 Millionen Dollar gesetzt hat. Und da ist das Versicherungsunternehmen John Hancock (Boston), das zwei Trusts mit je 49,4 Millionen Dollar ausgestattet hat. Das sind im letzteren Falle gerade einmal 6,6 Prozent der Kaufsumme, und im Falle von Potomac 10,5 Prozent (zusammen also bloß 17,1 Prozent). Den Rest von 82,9 Prozent leihen sich die beiden Investmentgesellschaften von Banken. Lustiger Weise gewährt ihnen der amerikanische Staat auch noch dafür Steuervergünstigungen, also auf die volle Summe von 1,496 Milliarden Dollar. Hier könnte man vielleicht von rentierlich sprechen.

Für sich selber brauchen diese Unternehmen die gewährten Steuerreduktionen allerdings schon längst nicht mehr. Ihre eigenen Abgaben haben sie längst gegen Null gedrückt. Die Abschreibungsmöglichkeiten, die sie mit den Cross-Border-Leasing-Tricks aufgerissen haben, bieten sie über Beteiligungsfonds weltweit anderen Firmen an, die sich in ihren Heimatländern die gesetzlich vorgeschriebenen Steuern ersparen wollen. Diese sogenannten Leaser von Sellrain-Silz machen damit nicht nur den amerikanischen, sondern auch den europäischen und österreichischen Steuerzahler zum Loser.

Falls der Landeshauptmann den sich so bescheiden im Hintergrund haltenden Investoren Potomac und John Hancock, die uns nach seinen Worten „eine beträchtliche Vermögensvermehrung des Landes und der TIWAG“ geschenkt haben, am 15. August den Großen Tiroler Adlerorden verleihen will, hier sind Namen und Anschrift der Firmen und ihrer zuständigen Manager für die Terminvereinbarung:


POTOMAC CAPITAL INVESTMENT CORPORATION (Equity Investor)
1801 K Street, N.W. Suite 900 Washington, D.C. 20006-1301 (USA)
Tel: +1-202-775-4652 Fax: +1-202-857-5760

Leslie C. Zimberg
Deputy General Council
Tel: +1-202-857 -5703
Fax: +1-202-857-5760
Email: lzimberg@potomaccapital.com

Kevin M. McGowan
Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +1-202-775-5145
Fax: +1-202-857-5760
Mobile: +1-410-703-7997
Email: kmcgowan@potomaccapital.com

JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY (Equity Investor)
200 Clarendon Street Boston, MA 02117 (USA)

Jack Butler (T-27)
Tel: + 1-617 -572-4 780
Fax: +1-617-572-4799
Email: jmbutler@jhancock.com

John T. "Jack" Wallace Senior Counsel
Law Department, T-30
Tel: +1-617 -572-9245
Fax: +1-617-572-9269
Email: jwallace@jhancock.com

Elzbieta "Ela" Welz Counsel (T-30)
Tel: +1-617-572-9230
Fax: +1-617-572-5659 Email: ewelz@jhancock.com


Potomac, das auch hinter den TIWAG-Deals 2 (Achensee/Imst/Kirchbichl) und 3 (Amlach/Heinfels/Kalserbach) steht, hat also am Sellrain-Silz-Trust einen Anteil von 61 Prozent. Hinter dem Investmenthaus Potomac steht der Konzern PEPCO. TIWAG-Chefverhandler Hermann Meysel hat ihn der TT gegenüber als Versorgungsunternehmen bezeichnet. PEPCO ist aber in Wahrheit ein großer US-Energiekonzern. Und hat als solcher ganz gewiß nicht nur platonisches Interesse an den Tiroler Anlagen.
Die Anmietverträge der TIWAG für die Kraftwerksgruppe Sellrain-Silz laufen im Falle der Hancock-Anteile bis zum 1.1.2037, im Falle der Potomac-Anteile bis zum 2.1.2035.

Die vier Trusts wurden auf die heimelig klingenden Namen „JH Hydro Trust One Sellrain-Silz 2001-1“, JH Hydro Trust Two Sellrain-Silz 2001-2“ sowie PCIN Hydro Trust Sellrain-Silz 2001-3“ und PNI Hydro Trust Sellrain-Silz 2001-4“ getauft. Verwaltet werden sie von einem Treuhänder, der Wilmington Trust Company, einer Tochterfirma der Wilmington Trust Corporation. Dieser Treuhänder (Trustee) ist der eigentliche Vertragspartner der TIWAG.

Im folgenden ein geraffter Überblick über die wichtigsten Einzelverträge der „U.S. - AUSTRIAN LEASING TRANSACTION Sellrain Silz Pump Storage Hydro-Electric Power Generating Facility”, wobei jeweils die Vertragsparteien (“Parties”) und der wesentliche Vertragszweck (“Basic Purpose“) angeführt sind.



THE PRINCIPAL OPERATIVE DOCUMENTS


1. The TIWAG Documents
The following is a summary of the principal Operative Documents to which TIWAG is a party:


The Participation Agreement.

Parties: TIWAG, the Beneficiary, the Trust, the Trust Company, the Agent and the Lenders.
Basic Purpose: Sets forth, among other items, the manner in which the parties agreed to participate in the Transaction, their obligations with respect to the funding of the Investment (in the case of the Beneficiary) and the Loans (in the case of the Lenders), which of the Operative Documents they agreed to enter into, the conditions precedent to such participation, the representations and warranties of such parties and certain (non-tax and general tax) indemnities and other agreements made by TIWAG in connection therewith.


The Head Lease.

Parties: TIWAG, as "Head Lessor", and the Trust, as "Head Lessee".
Basic Purpose: Provides for the grant of leasehold possessory rights to the Trust in respect of the Facility for the Head Lease Term in consideration of the payment to TIWAG of the Closing Date Payment.


The Lease Agreement

Parties: The Trust, as "Lessor", and TIWAG, as "Lessee".
Basic Purpose: Provides for the lease to TIWAG of the Head Lease Interest and establishes, inter alia, TIWAG's payment obligations in respect of the lease of the Head Lease Interest (including with respect to applicable TV amounts), the terms and conditions applicable to the manner in which TIWAG will operate and maintain the Facility and obtain insurance with respect thereto during the Lease Term, the circumstances in which a "Lessee Event of Default" will occur, the conditions to an early termination of the Transaction and the exercise of the Lessee Purchase Option.


The Tax Indemnity Agreement.

Parties: TIWAG and the Beneficiary.
Basic Purpose: Establishes the circumstances under which the Beneficiary will be indemnified by TIWAG from and against certain U.S. tax matters.


The Support Agreement.

Parties: TIWAG and Trust.
Basic Purpose: Provides for certain support services to be made available to the Trust by TIWAG after the end of the Lease Term.


The Access Agreement.

Parties: TIWAG and Trust.
Basic Purpose: Provides to the Trust certain access rights in respect of the Facility following the end of the Lease Term.


The Facility Operation Agreement.

Parties: TIWAG and the Trusts.
Basic Purpose: Establishes the procedures to be followed in connection with the operation of the Facility after the Lease Agreements have expired, including with respect to the appointment of an "Operator" for the Facility and specifies, inter alia, the respective rights and obligations of each Trust in respect of the operation of the Facility at such time.


The Funding Indemnity Letters.

Parties: TIWAG, the Beneficiaries and the Lenders.
Basic Purpose: Provided the Beneficiary and the Lenders with an indemnity for the opportunity cost of, and any expense or loss undertaken or incurred with regards to, positioning and/or obtaining funds for their respective funding commitments as at Closing in the event that the transaction failed to be consummated when anticipated.


The Equity Payment Undertaking Agreement.

Parties: TIWAG, the Trust and UBS for the PCI Trusts; TIWAG and UBS AG, London Branch ("UBS") for the Hancock Trusts.
Basic Purpose: In consideration of the payment by TIWAG to UBS of a fee on the Closing Date, UBS has agreed to make certain payments on specified payment dates representing the equity portion of regularly scheduled Lease Base Rent and the equity portion of the Purchase Option Price or, if applicable, upon an early termination of the Lease, a "Market Termination Amount" (as adjusted to reflect then applicable market conditions and related costs). The Equity Payment Undertaking Agreement ("EPUA") also sets forth, inter alia, certain representations, warranties and covenants made by TIWAG and UBS in favor of the other party, and a mechanism for periodic determination of the value of the estimated "Market Termination Amount".


The Insurance and Indemnity Agreement (PCI Trusts Only).

Parties: TIWAG and Ambac Assurance Corporation ("Ambac").
Basic Purpose: In consideration of the payment by TIWAG to Ambac of the amounts and at the times set forth in the Surety Bond Premium Payment Agreement (see below), Ambac issued a Surety Bond in favor of the Trust, providing for the payment of certain specified amounts (the "Coverage") as set forth in Schedule A to the Surety Bond. The Insurance and Indemnity Agreement ("I&I Agreement") also sets forth, inter alia, certain representations, warranties and covenants made by TIWAG in favor of Ambac, and the circumstances in which an "I&I Event of Default" will occur.


The Surety Bond Premium Payment Agreement (PCI Trust Only).

Parties: TIWAG and Ambac.
Basic Purpose: Provides for the payment by TIWAG to Ambac of the initial premium amount that was due at Closing and additional amounts due over time in consideration of the issuance by Ambac of the Surety Bond.


Surety Bond PUA (PCI Trusts Only).

Parties: TIWAG and UBS.
Basic Purpose: In consideration of the payment by TIWAG to UBS of a fee after the Closing Date, UBS has agreed to make certain payments on specified payment dates representing the periodic amounts payable by TIWAG under the Surety Bond Premium Payment Agreement.


The Series A PUA.

Parties: TIWAG, Barclays Bank pic and the Trust.
Basic Purpose: In consideration of the payment by TIWAG to Barclays Bank of a fee on the Closing Date, Barclays Bank pic has agreed to pay (i) periodic payments which have been assigned to the Series A Lender as collateral security for the Series A Loan and (ii) a final payment upon an unwind or termination of the Transaction. Such periodic payments and final payment are designed to match the portion of Lease Basic Rent and TV Amounts that are attributable to the Series A Loan.


The Series B PUA.

Parties: TIWAG and Dexia Credit Local, acting through its London Branch.
Basic Purpose: In consideration of the payment by TIWAG to Dexia of a specified fee on the Closing Date, Dexia has agreed to pay to TIWAG periodic payments and, upon an unwind or termination of the Transaction, a final payment. Such periodic payments and final payment are (subject to market based adjustments and deduction of breakage amounts) designed to match the portion of Lease Basic Rent and TV Amounts that are attributable to the Series B Loan. In the case of the PCI Trusts, the obligations in respect of such final payment have been pledged to the Beneficiary under the "Series B Pledge" as part of the Equity Security.


The Series B Pledge (PCI Beneficiaries Only).

Parties: TIWAG and the Beneficiary.
Basic Purpose: Provides for, as security for TIWAG's obligations under the Operative Documents, an assignment and pledge by TIWAG to the Beneficiary of its rights to receive the "Final Payment" under the Series B PUA.


The Option Agreement.

Parties: TIWAG and Trust.
Basic Purpose: Provides to the Trust an option to purchase Key Site Parcels, such purchase to be consummated pursuant to the "Purchase Contract" attached thereto.


The RoW Agreement.

Parties: TIWAG and the Trust.
Basic Purpose: Provides for the grant by TIWAG to the Trust of a right of way over certain land parcels which make up part of the Facility Site.


The Agreement With Respect to Certain Penalties.

Parties: TIWAG and the Trust.
Basic Purpose: Provides for the payment by TIWAG to the Trust of certain penalty amounts upon the occurrence of certain transfers of the Facility and/or related property.


The Assignment for Security (Lessor's Interest).

Parties: TIWAG and Trust.
Basic Purpose: Provides for the creation by the Trust of a security interest to and for the benefit of TIWAG in the "Lessor's Interest" (i.e., the interests of the Trust in and to the Facility and certain related property), such security interest to secure the Trust's obligations to transfer the Lessor's Interest to TIWAG when required and to be subordinate to the security interest of the Agent under the Loan Agreement.


Designation Agreement.

Parties: TIWAG, the other parties to the Transaction and their advisors.
Basic Purpose: Provides for the designation of Citibank as the "Designated Organizer" for purposes of complying with U.S. tax shelter registration rules.



2. The Non-TIWAG Documents.

The following is a summary of the principal Operative Documents to which TIWAG is not a party:

The Trust Agreement.

Parties: Wilmington Trust Company ("Wilmington Trust") and the
Beneficiary.
Basic Purpose: Established the "Trust" that acts as "Head Lessee" and "Lessor". The Trust was formed under the laws of the State of Delaware, by the Trust and the Beneficiary.


The Loan Agreement.

Parties: The Trust, any "related" Trust (i.e.. for each Beneficiary, both of its Trusts), the Agent and the Lenders.
Basic Purpose: Provides for and set forth the issuance and terms of the Loan Certificates and the assignment and pledge by the Trust and the relevant "related" Trust of the collateral securing the Loans extended by the Lenders to the Trust.


The Loan Certificates.

Parties: Trust.
Basic Purpose: Evidences the amounts owed by the Trust to each Lender.


The Beneficiary Guarantee (PCI Only).

Parties: PCI.
Basic Purpose: Guarantees the obligations of the PCI Beneficiaries under the Operative Documents.


The Surety Bond (PCI Trusts Only).

Parties: Ambac and the Trust.
Basic Purpose: Evidences the obligations of Ambac to pay to the Trust the relevant "Coverage".


The Ambac Assignment Agreement (PCI Trusts Only).

Parties: Ambac, the Trust and the Beneficiary.
Basic Purpose: Provides for a purchase option to Ambac to purchase and to take an assignment from the Beneficiary of the interest of the Beneficiary in the Trust and all of the rights and obligations of the Beneficiary under the Operative Documents (excluding certain specified rights and obligations) upon the occurrence of certain specified events.


Swap Agreements.

Parties: The Series B Lenders and the Series B Obligor (acting directly or through an intermediary).
Basic Purpose: Provides for interest rate swaps pursuant to which the Series B Lenders have agreed to pay fix rate amounts of interest to the Series B Obligor (based on the revenue stream attributable to the Series B Loans) and the Series B Obligor has agreed to pay LIBOR based floating rate payments to the Series B Lenders.




16.3.2005

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