Marie-France Béland Partner National Leader, Aviation, aerospace and defence


Speaks:  English, French

Year of Call: 2004 - Quebec

Primary phone: +1 514-392-9418

Fax: +1 514-876-9018

Email: marie-france.beland@gowlingwlg.com

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Primary office:  Montréal




Marie-France Béland

Marie-France Béland is a partner in Gowling WLG's Montréal office, practising in the financial services sector with a particular emphasis in financing in the fields of aviation, infrastructure, real estate, agriculture and restructuring. She is also the national leader of Gowling WLG’s Aviation, Aerospace & Defence Group and a member of the Canadian Contact Group of the Aviation Working Group that contribute to the development of policies, laws and regulations that facilitate advanced international aviation financing and leasing relating to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) and its Aircraft Protocol.

Marie-France acts for both creditors and debtors with regard to various types of Canadian and cross-border financing transactions, namely project financings (including renewable energy, asset-based financings on aircraft and leasing among others), real (immovable) property, agriculture, structured and syndicated financings, as well as public and parapublic infrastructure programs.

A specialist in aircraft financing, including Cape Town matters, she acts as an administrator at the International Registry of Mobile Assets (Aircraft) for various clients registered as transacting user entities (TUE), and assists them in registering various types of assets.

Marie-France also specializes in documentary credits (which was the subject of both her master’s thesis and a doctrine manual she is currently drafting).

She is also involved in restructurings, representing trustees and creditors by studying security within their enforcement framework, and by drafting various restructuring agreements.

In recent years, she taught a class at the Québec Bar School titled "Security, Priorities and Insolvency" and undertook a one-year internship at the Québec Court of Appeal with the Honorable Justice Pierre Dalphond.

Marie-France was involved in the Volcano Project humanitarian mission in Guatemala, climbed the San Pedro volcano and raised funds and material goods on behalf of the Fondation du Dr. Julien with other Gowling WLG members and clients.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2009

    • Education
      2009
      Université de Montréal, LLM
  • 2004

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      2004
      Year of Call, Quebec
  • 2003

    • Education
      2003
      Université de Montréal, LLB
  • 2000

    • Education
      2000
      Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Board of Trade of the Metropolitan Montreal
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • French Chamber of Commerce in Canada
  • Junior Bar Association of Montréal

Marie-France has acted in the following matters :

  • Counsel to Urbacon and FTQ in connection with the financing of the construction of the new data centre project in the heart of the Montreal financial district in Quebec.
  • Counsel to Investissement Québec in connection with the financing of the McInnis Cement project. The project encompasses both the construction and operation of the cement plant and a limestone reserve in Port-Daniel-Gascons in the Gaspésie region and of certain port terminals in Québec, the Atlantic provinces and the east coast of the United States. McInnis Cement arranged total financing of $1.4 billion from various lenders and equity investors.
  • Counsel to Kriska Transportation Group Limited in connection with its acquisition of the shares of Transpro Freight Systems Limited based in Milton, Ontario.
  • Counsel to Industrial-Alliance Insurance and Financial Services for construction and term financing of a 12 MW Hunter Creek run-of-the-river hydroelectric electric generating facility in British Columbia.
  • Counsel to National Bank Financial Inc. and Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada for construction and term financing of  74.8 MW Roncevaux wind turbine electricity project located in Quebec.
  • Counsel to Industrial-Alliance Insurance and Financial Services for construction and term financing of a 5.5 MW Sakwi Creek run-of-the-river hydroelectric electric generating facility in British Columbia.
  • Counsel to Fiera Axium Infrastructure Canada II L.P. and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in connection with their acquisition and financing of a 100% equity interest in three ground-mounted solar photovoltaic projects from Recurrent Energy.
  • Counsel to Fiera Axium Infrastructure Canada II L.P. in connection with its acquisition and financing of a 100% equity interest in two ground-mounted solar voltaic projects with a peak capacity of 22 MW from Recurrent Energy.
  • Counsel to National Bank Financial Inc. and Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada for construction and term financing of 21.2 MW Tretheway Creek run-of-river hydroelectric project located in British Columbia.
  • Counsel to Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. as agent and lead lender for a $72 million non-recourse construction and term project financing for the Northwest Stave River run-of-river hydroelectric project in British Columbia.
  • Counsel to Allied Properties REIT in connection with the refinancing of its existing mortgage loans on the property known as Cité du Multimédia, which houses a cluster of information technology companies in an urban office campus and seven industrial buildings, located in Montréal, Québec.
  • Counsel to Samuel, Son & Co., Limited in connection with its refinancing with Bank of Montreal, as agent, and Bank of Montreal, The Bank of Nova Scotia, JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., Toronto Branch, Export Development Canada, Comerica Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, HSBC Bank Canada and Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Canadian Branch, as lenders.
  • Counsel to Hypothèques CDPQ in the $35,000,000 term financing of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, in Montréal, Quebec.
  • Canadian counsel to the lenders (including Prudential Investment Management, Inc. and Sovereign Bank, N.A.) on the project financing of Invenergy Wind LLC’s Des Moulins energy 135.7 MW wind project in Québec.
  • Counsel to a syndicate of agents led by Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. (formerly Euro Pacific Canada Inc.) in connection with private placement of convertible debentures for Orbite Aluminae Inc.
  • Counsel to Erfa Canada 2012 Inc. in its purchase of all the pharmaceutical assets of Erfa Canada Inc., 9126 7906 Québec Inc. and 3586626 Canada Inc. for an undisclosed consideration.
  • Canadian counsel to Dubai-based Taghleef Industries, a leading global biaxially oriented polypropylene film (BOPP) producer,  in its cross-border acquisition of Applied Extrusion Technologies.
  • Counsel to Quebec manufacturer Novatech Group Inc., one of the largest Canadian manufacturers of doorglass components, and its principal shareholder in a $16.7 million investment by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the refinancing of Novatech and its subsidiaries by Bank of Montreal for an amount up to $46 million.
  • Counsel to Québec-based TELECON Group, a Quebec pioneer in external and internal telecommunication networks, and its principal shareholders in a $60 million investment by Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
  • Counsel for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Bank of Tokyo-Mitshubishi in connection with the $52.8 million non-recourse term loan to refinance the Carleton wind farm located on the Gaspé Peninsula in Québec.
  • Counsel to the lender in restructuring and refinancing Confiseries Régal Inc. et Chocolat Jean-Talon Inc., Canadian leaders in the distribution-packaged confectionery industry.
  • Counsel to Autodesk, Inc. in its cross-border acquisition of technology-related assets and individuals associated with GRIP Entertainment, a privately-held artificial intelligence game middleware company based in Montréal.
  • Counsel to Hypothèques CDPQ, HSBC Bank Canada and The Equitable Trust Company in the $133,200,000 construction and renovation financing of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences at the Ritz, in Montréal, Quebec.
  • Counsel to the lender in the financing of the acquisition of iCongo by Hybris, global leader in multi-channel commerce, and in implementing securities in Canada, the US, the UK, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.
  • Counsel to Montreal-based venture capital firm Novacap II, LP, and other shareholders of Rosmar Packaging Corporation in the sale of all of Rosmar's shares to an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners of Boca Raton, Florida.
  • Counsel for National Bank of Canada on the construction and term financing of 100 MW wind project in the Gaspé region of Quebec.
  • Counsel to Spanish savings bank Novacaixagalicia which provided subordinated debt to the borrower Windsor Essex Mobility Group GP which will design, build, finance and maintain the Windsor-Essex Parkway for a contract price of approximately $2.2 billion.
  • Canadian counsel to PerkinElmer, Inc. on the US$500 million sale of its Illumination and Detection Solutions business to Excelitas Technologies Corp., an affiliate of Veritas Capital Fund Management, L.L.C., a New York-based private equity firm.
  • Counsel for the syndicate comprised of a senior lender (with regard to a loan of approximately $280 million) and of equity bridge lenders (a loan of approximately $30 million) for the financing of the selected proponent for the design, build, finance and operation of the South Fraser Perimeter Road in British Columbia.
  • Counsel on the completion of a non‐regulated financial institution fleet in 2014 re‐financing of aircraft for Discovery Air.
  • Counsel to the lender in the financing of Hydrosolution (syndicate including the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Confort Expert inc.). 
  • Counsel to the lenders in the financing of Accent-Fairchild Group Inc., a leading supplier of consumer goods serving the Canadian market.
  • Counsel to the lender in the re-financing of the Tristan & America group’s boutiques.
  • Counsel for the DIP lender and the government agency (loan of $100 million) in the restructuring of Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. 
  • Counsel to Farm Credit Canada in the acquisition of an agricultural loan portfolio from Promutuel Capital. 
  • Quebec Counsel to Farm Credit Canada in implementing and structuring programs for their agricultural and agri-food financings in Quebec.
  • Acting as administrator at the International Registry of Mobile Assets (Aircraft) for various financial institutions and operators acting as transaction user entity (TUE).
  • Acting for a financial institution in connection with its acquisition of several aircraft loans and leases from GE Capital.
  • Advised Cooper Equipment Rentals Limited on its CDN$150-million asset-based senior credit facility.