White & Case Advises Banks on Finalization of Strasbourg Western Bypass Concession Financing
Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the bank syndicate including the European Investment Bank (EIB), AUXIFIP, Banca IMI (Intesa Sanpaolo Group), Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Alsace Vosges, CaixaBank, Československá obchodni banka and KBC Bank, as well as CA-CIB as agent, on the €186 million financing for the Strasbourg western bypass motorway (A355) concession to be built and operated by ARCOS (Vinci Group).
The project costs are in excess of €700 million, and the total debt financing amounts to €359 million, with the EIB providing 50 percent of the debt, including a €56 million mezzanine debt to support the financing of the concession. The mezzanine debt is a new EIB product - the Senior Debt Credit Enhancement (SDCE) loan, which aims to enhance senior loans via a junior loan drawn during the operation phase. The A355 project not only helped develop this new instrument, but also allowed its implementation in France for the first time.
Early in 2016, ARCOS (Vinci Group) signed an agreement with the French ministry responsible for transport to build and operate the highway concession for a period of 54 years. The A355 is a 24 kilometer, two-lane motorway, which will facilitate long distance transit by avoiding the city of Strasbourg. The new road will supplement the existing network, improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion on the existing A35.
The White & Case team in Paris which advised on the transaction was led by partners Paule Biensan, Jacques Bouillon, François-Guilhem Vaissier and Grégoire Karila, with support from counsel Marianna Sédéfian and associates Olivier Le Bars, Charlène Ntsiba, Renaud Nething, Jean-François Le Corre, Boris Kreiss and Diane Houriez.
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