May 9, 2016

Smith, Gambrell & Russell Client Transactions Awarded Airfinance Journal Deals of the Year

New York (May 9, 2016) – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce announce the firm acted as legal counsel to Mesa Airlines, Inc. in a transaction recently awarded Regional Jet/Turbo Prop Deal of the Year for 2015 by Airfinance Journal, the leading commercial aviation industry publication. The accolade is in respect of the private placement of $246 million of enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETC) by Mesa Airlines, the first issuance of such type ever completed by a regional airline. Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank were the placement agents in the transaction and SGR represented Mesa Airlines as issuer’s counsel.

The primary SGR legal team acting on behalf of Mesa Airlines included Partners Peter Barlow and Marc Latman and Associates Jeanne Forsyth and Robert Fuessler in the firm’s Air Transport Industry Group practice in SGR’s New York office along with international tax Partner Joseph Mandarino and securities Partner Terry Schwartz and securities Associate Sean Rosario in SGR’s Atlanta office.

This award marks the second time in the last two years that SGR served as legal counsel in a transaction that was selected as a “Deal of the Year” by Airfinance Journal. In the other recently awarded transaction named the South America Deal of the Year for 2014, SGR was counsel to Aerovias Del Continente Americano S.A. Avianca (Avianca) in connection with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) guaranteed French leveraged lease financing of two Boeing 787 aircraft. The structure employed by Avianca in the transaction was the first of its type undertaken in conjunction with Ex-Im Bank.  SGR Air Transport Industry Group Partners Howard Turner and Nick Ivezaj in the firm’s Atlanta office handled the transaction for Avianca.

About SGR’s Air Transport Industry Group

The firm’s aviation practice commenced in 1927 with its representation of the predecessor to Eastern Airlines. For over 60 years, SGR served as Eastern’s general external legal counsel and represented the airline in virtually all aspects of its business until its sale to Texas Air in 1989. During the years since its inception, SGR’s Air Transport Industry Group has greatly broadened its industry representation to include other major US and international airlines, finance and operating lessors, financiers, aviation equipment owners, managers and investors, aviation joint ventures and joint venture partners, maintenance repair and overhaul facilities, fixed-base operators and aircraft teardown/part-out companies in all aspects of their business from transactional matters to commercial litigation. The firm’s Air Transport Industry Group is currently comprised of more than twenty lawyers with aviation transactions constituting the primary or exclusive practice of twelve of those lawyers.

About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

SGR is a full service, international law firm that advises regional, national and global businesses on a wide range of legal matters. The firm’s 200 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 45 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, construction and employment law. Founded in 1893, SGR has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Jacksonville, New York, Washington, D.C. and Frankfurt, Germany.

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