DIF is pleased to announce that the Tram’Ardent consortium, comprising DIF Infrastructure V (80%), French civil construction firm Colas (10%) and Spanish rolling stock manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF, 10%), has reached financial close on the Liège Tram PPP in Belgium.
This availability-based public-private partnership contract with Opérateur du Transport de Wallonie, the regional public transport company, involves the design, building, financing and maintenance of a tram line in the centre of Liège between Sclessin, Coronmeuse and Bressoux Station. It includes circa 12 km of rail track (of which over 3 km catenary-less), 21 stations, 20 trams, a maintenance depot, 2 park-and-ride facilities and improvements to the surrounding urban area. Construction will start immediately, with completion expected in the second half of 2022. Thereafter the consortium will maintain the project for circa 27 years, until 2050.
Total funding for the project amounts to €429 million, including long-term debt secured from the European Investment Bank (EIB), Belfius, BBVA, Natixis, AG Insurance and Talanx. The EIB will fund half of the term loan, totalling €193 million, backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).
Managing Partner of DIF, Wim Blaasse, added: “DIF is exited to invest in this landmark project, which will benefit the community of Liège by increasing mobility whilst decreasing carbon emissions. It is the result of our strong relationship with both Colas and CAF, with each of whom we are successfully pursuing other opportunities around the globe.”
Advisers to the consortium are Natixis (financial), DLA Piper (legal), Loyens & Loeff (tax & accounting) and BDO (model audit). Advisors to the lenders are Loyens & Loeff (legal), Clifford Chance (EIB legal), Infrata (technical) and Aon (insurance).
DIF is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with €5.6 billion of assets under management across seven closed-end infrastructure funds and several co-investment vehicles. DIF invests in greenfield and brownfield infrastructure assets located primarily in Europe, North America and Australasia through two complementary strategies:
- DIF Infrastructure V targets equity investments in public-private partnerships (PPP/PFI/P3), concessions, regulated assets and renewable energy projects with long-term contracted or regulated income streams that generate stable and predictable cash flows.
- DIF Core Infrastructure Fund I targets equity investments in small to mid-sized infrastructure assets in the energy, transportation and telecom sectors with mid-term contracted income streams that generate stable and predictable cash flows.
DIF has a team of over 110 professionals, based in eight offices located in Schiphol (the Netherlands), Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Paris, Sydney and Toronto. Please visit www.dif.eu for further information.
Allard Ruijs, Partner