Paris Office Advises on €415 Million French Prison Project

January 23, 2013

Willkie advises on Public-Private-Partnership project for the design, financing, construction and maintenance of 4 new prisons in France.

It was recently announced that in furtherance of the French prison renovation effort launched by the French Ministry of Justice, l’Agence Publique pour l’Immobilier de la Justice (APIJ) signed two 27-year Public-Private-Partnership contracts with Willkie clients Hélios A and Hélios B, two special purpose vehicles. Hélios A and Hélios B are held by Spie Batignolles (7.5%), GEPSA (GDF-Suez group - 2.5%), BARCLAYS INTEGRATED INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS SARL - BIIP (Barclays’ group infrastructure fund - 56.5%) and FIDEPPP (BPCE group - 33.5%). The contracts, which were signed on December 21 on behalf of the French State, are valued at €415 million.

The contracts provide for the design/conception, financing and construction of the prisons, as well as for their upkeep and maintenance. It also covers services for inmates and their families. The facilities are to be located in Valence, Riom and Lutterbach (Batch A) and in Beauvais (Batch B).

Batch A relates to the construction of three prisons representing 30,000 to 40,000 m2, housing 456 to 732 inmates. Batch B will house about 600 inmates on 35,000 m2. The four prison facilities are expected to be operational in late 2015. Hélios A and Hélios B will delegate the construction of the prisons and upkeep and maintenance services to various entities.

Willkie advised Hélios A and Hélios B and their shareholders with respect to financing and junior funding issues. The Willkie team was led by partner Amir Jahanguiri and special European counsel Driss Bererhi.