M. Shams Billah is a member of the firm's Banking & Financial Services practice. He advises financial institutions, corporate clients (ranging from startups to publicly traded Fortune 500 companies), private equity sponsors and venture capital firms on a broad range of corporate financing transactions, including secured and unsecured term loan and revolving credit facilities, asset-based and cash flow lending, project finance, energy-related finance, Islamic finance, acquisition finance, debt restructuring and workouts, debtor-in-possession financings, Rule 144A debt offerings and other capital markets offerings.
Prior to joining Hughes Hubbard & Reed, Shams was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in the Corporate Finance group and the Financial Institutions group.
Counsel for transaction awarded Americas Deal of the Year 2015 by Project Finance International and North American LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) Deal of the Year 2015 by IJGlobal.
Counsel for transaction awarded Project Finance Deal of the Year 2014 (Americas) by International Financial Law Review US; Deal of the Year 2014 (Americas) by Trade Finance; Global Project Finance Deal of the Year 2014 by The American Lawyer; and highly commended Innovation in Finance Law 2014 by Financial Times US Innovative Lawyers.
Counsel for transaction awarded Middle East Industrial Deal of the Year 2013 by Project Finance International, and Middle East Mining & Metals Deal of the Year 2013 by Project Finance.
Counsel for transaction awarded Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2012 by Project Finance International; Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2012 by Project Finance; Standout Energy Deal by Financial Times US Innovative Lawyers; and Best Project Finance Deal by Finance Asia.
Speaking Engagements and Publications
Speaker, “Overview of Project Finance,” University of Chicago Law School, May 6, 2015.
Speaker, “Introduction to Islamic Finance,” Sullivan & Cromwell LLP Continuing Legal Education Seminar, July 17, 2014.
Presenter, “Ibn Rushd’s Contributions to the Study of Islamic Commercial Law,” Annual Islamic Studies Conference at University of California – Santa Barbara, April 9, 2011.
Author, “Arab Money: Why Isn't the United States Getting Any?”, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law (2011).
Vice Chair, In-House Group of the Muslim Bar Association of New York (2016 – present).
Member, Banking Law Committee of the International Bar Association (2016 – present).
Member, Program Committee for Annual Conference of National Association of Muslim Lawyers (2017).
Member, Islamic Finance Group at New York University (2017 – present).
Highlighted Corporate Credit Facility Matters
Representation of a syndicate of lenders in a $1.25 billion senior secured revolving credit and term loan facility for AMC Networks Inc. led by Bank of America, N.A.
Representation of a syndicate of lenders in a $1.06 billion senior secured revolving credit and term loan facility for CBS Radio Inc. led by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Representation of Cenveo Corporation in connection with a syndicated $240 million asset-based revolving credit facility led by Bank of America, N.A. and a $50 million notes offering by Allianz.
Representation of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in connection with its various credit facilities.
Representation of Chrysler in connection with its term loan and revolving credit facilities and its high yield debt offerings.
Highlighted Private Equity, M&A and Acquisition Financing Matters
Representation of The Madison Square Garden Company in connection with a $122 million senior secured term loan and revolving credit facility led by Goldman Sachs and utilized to finance the acquisition of a majority ownership interest in restaurant and night club operator TAO Group.
Representation of Brambles Ltd. in connection with senior secured credit facilities utilized to finance its joint venture with Hoover Container Solutions, including a $255 million senior secured first lien term loan and revolving credit facility and a $150 million second lien term loan facility.
Representation of Brightwood Capital Advisors in connection with its various acquisition financings, including financings for The Action Environmental Group, Inc., Impero Waste Services, LLC, ECP-PF Holdings Group, Inc. (the second largest Planet Fitness gym franchise) and Teinnovations, LLC.
Representation of The Smithfield Group LLP, an independent fundless sponsor, in connection with an asset-based revolving credit facility provided by KeyBank National Association and utilized as a working capital facility for Safety US Holdings Corp. following its acquisition.
Representation of two independent fundless sponsors, The Smithfield Group LLP and Kensington Capital Partners, in connection with a senior secured term loan and revolving credit facility led by The PrivateBank and Trust Company and utilized to finance the acquisition of Pure Power Technologies, Inc.
Representation of SPO Partners & Co. in connection with a $135 million senior secured term loan and revolving credit facility provided by Wells Fargo Bank, National Association and utilized as a dividend recapitalization for Aggregates USA, LLC.
Representation of Kuramo Capital Management in connection with its various loan facilities, including financings for Feronia Inc. and a bridge facility with Silicon Valley Bank.
Highlighted Restructuring and Distressed Financing Matters
Representation of DNB Bank ASA in connection with its $125 million senior secured exit financing and $80 million senior secured debtor-in-possession financing of GulfMark Offshore, Inc. and its subsidiaries, a marine transportation service company.
Representation of CST Industries, Inc. with respect to its $15 million senior secured debtor-in-possession revolving credit facility in connection with its bankruptcy filing, led by BNP Paribas.
Representation of Ultrapetrol in the Chapter 11 restructuring of its international shipping and service business that operates in seven jurisdictions globally.
Representation of Eastman Kodak Co. with respect to its initial $950 million senior secured debtor-in-possession term loan and revolving credit facility in connection with its bankruptcy filing, led by Citibank, N.A.
Highlighted Islamic Finance Matters
Representation of Wafra Capital Partners in a number of Islamic financings to fund acquisitions, including the acquisitions of and joint ventures with Access Point Financial, Inc., Anchor Loans, LP, GA Telesis, LLC, Oxford Finance LLC, TriplePoint Capital LLC and UC Credit Services LLC.
Representation of Emirates Aluminium in connection with a $475 million Islamic finance tranche of the $4 billion project financing of its Phase II aluminum smelter located in the United Arab Emirates.
Representation of Goldman Sachs on potential Volker Rule issues with respect to an Islamic bond.
Representation in connection with securities law disclosure for MSCI EAFE Islamic+ Index.
Highlighted Energy and Project Finance Matters
Representation of a syndicate of lenders in five senior unsecured syndicated credit facilities for FirstEnergy Corp. and certain of its subsidiaries. The credit facilities included a $4.0 billion revolving loan and letter of credit facility for FirstEnergy Corp., a $1.0 billion revolving loan and letter of credit facility for FirstEnergy Transmission, LLC, and three term loan facilities for FirstEnergy Corp. (for $1.2 billion, $125 million and $125 million, respectively).
Representation of MUFG Union Bank, N.A., as administrative agent, joint lead arranger and lender, in three separate senior unsecured syndicated credit facilities for UNS Energy Corporation and certain of its subsidiaries. The credit facilities included a $150 million revolving loan and letter of credit facility for UNS Energy Corporation, a $250 million revolving loan and letter of credit facility for Tucson Electric Power Company, and a $100 million revolving loan and letter of credit facility for UNS Electric, Inc. and UNS Gas, Inc.
Representation of MUFG Union Bank, N.A. in connection with a letter of credit facility for Illinois Power Marketing Company.
Representation of Cheniere Corpus Christi Holdings LLC in connection with the $15 billion project financing of its liquefied natural gas export facility located in Texas.
Representation of Cameron LNG LLC in connection with the $10 billion project financing of its liquefied natural gas export facility located in Louisiana, and accompanying letter of credit facility and expansion.
Representation of Australia Pacific LNG in connection with the $8.5 billion project financing of its liquefied natural gas export facility located in Australia.
Highlighted Capital Markets Matters
Representation of underwriters in connection with $800 million of senior notes issued by AMC Networks Inc.
Representation of underwriters in connection with $400 million of senior unsecured notes issued by CBS Radio Inc.
Representation of Cytec Industries Inc. in connection with its $250 million senior notes offering and the accompanying tender offer.
Representation of Citigroup and JPMorgan as underwriters in connection with a $700 million common stock equity offering for Newmont Mining Corp.