Infrastructure

Willkie has extensive experience in the area of infrastructure, advising on the financing and construction  of numerous toll-roads, motorways, tunnels, airports, stadiums and rail projects in the U.S., Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Willkie has extensive expertise in the area of infrastructure, advising on the financing and construction  of numerous toll-roads, motorways, tunnels, airports, stadiums and rail projects in the U.S., Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Ports and Airports

  • Antin Infrastructure: Advised Antin Infrastructure, an infrastructure fund, in the context of its acquisition of a portfolio of port assets, Euroports.

    Azzura Consortium: Advised the Azzurra consortium (consisting of the Atlantia Group, EDF Invest and Aeoporti di Roma) on the bid for the privatization of Nice’s airport; the consortium will acquire the French state’s 60% interest in the company that controls three airports on the French Riviera. 

    Bureau Veritas/Port of Abidjan: Advised Bureau Veritas in connection with the award and implementation a project involving the design and installation of container verification equipment and operation of services for the Port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

    CMA CGM/SOMAGEC: Advising consortium formed by CMA CGM and SOMAGEC in the drafting and negotiation of the concession for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the terminal containers of Malabo and Bata in Equatorial Guinea.

    Developers/JFK Airport, New York: Advised the joint venture developers of the publicly financed international terminal at JFK Airport in New York City.

    Holmarcom/Grain Terminals: Advised Holmarcom, a Moroccan project sponsor, with a project involving the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of two grain terminals in the ports of Casablanca and Jorf Lasfar in Morocco.

    Investors/Scandinavian Port Acquisition: Advised a group of private investors on its pending acquisition of a port in Scandinavia.

    Investors/U.S. Port Development: Advising a group of investors on a greenfield port development project on the west coast of the United States.

    Lagardère Group, Aélia, Aéroports de Lyon/Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport: Represented the joint venture of Lagardère Group, its subsidiary Aélia, and Aéroports de Lyon before the French Competition Authority to secure approval for the partnership to operate all commercial areas and public and duty-free zones within the Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport.

    Meridiam Infrastructure/CDC Infrastructure: Advising the preferred bidder sponsor group (including Meridiam Infrastructure and CDC Infrastructure), in connection with the project for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the extension of the Calais port in France for an amount in excess of €600 million.

    MSC: Advised MSC in the context of the award of a port concession in Fosses, Marseilles (France).

    Tangier Mediterranean Special Agency and the Government of Morocco: Advised Tangier Mediterranean Special Agency (TMSA) with the award, drafting and negotiation of all contracts for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of all phases of the Tangier seaport in Morocco.

    Vinci Airport/Notre Dame des Landes: Advised Vinci Airport regarding the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the Notre Dame des Landes airport in France.

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Project Finance

  • Agence Française de Développement (AFD): Advised Agence Française de Développement (AFD) on several issues.

    Bank Pools/16 Hospitals: Advised banks pool and 16 hospitals in their € 228 million bond issue.

    Pays de la Loire: Advised Pays de la Loire region in relation to the setting up and the update of a euro medium term notes program.

    Bank Pools/44 French Authorities: Advised bank pools comprising of Natixis, CACIB and HSBC and 44 French authorities in the launching of an issue of bonds with a value of €610 million at 4.30% due in 10 years. The bond issue will finance public projects.

    OFI Infravia/Régaz Bordeaux: Represented infrastructure fund OFI Infravia in the acquisition of a 24% stake in Régaz Bordeaux, the largest independent gas distributor in France, from Dalkia France.

    City of Marseilles and Natixis: Advised City of Marseilles and Natixis in the connection with a bond issue, by private placement, at 3% due in 2013, with a deal value of €40 million.

    Natixis: Advising Natixis in two concomitant bond issues (with a deal value of €30 million for each issuance) for Maisons & Cités Soginorpa, consisting of a 12-year issue at 3.5% and a 10-year issue at 3.125%.   

    Région Champagne-Ardenne and Natixis: Advised Natixis in the connection with a Région Champagne-Ardenne bond issue, by private placement, at 2.28% due in 2021 and 2.75% due in 2023, with a deal value of €30 million total for both issuances.

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Rail

  • Bidder/ Ile-de-la-Réunion Tram-train: Advised a bidder on a PPP project for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the Ile-de-la-Réunion Tram-train.

    European Investment Bank/SEA High Speed Rail Line: Advised the European Investment Bank on the senior financing, equity bridge loan financing made available by the EIB, and other financing and intercreditor matters related to its €1.2 billion contribution to the global project financing for the South Europe Atlantic High Speed Rail Line between Tours and Bordeaux, France.

    Government of Morocco/High Speed Railway: Advised the Government of Morocco in connection with the preliminary stages of the project for the development of a high-speed railway between Tangier and Marrakesh.

    Investor Consortium/CDG-Express Speed Link: Advised and serve as counsel to the selected preferred bidder—a consortium formed by Vinci S.A., Vinci Concessions, AXA IM, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and Keolis—on the project financing for the €1+ billion design, construction, operation and maintenance of the CDG Express.

    Investor Consortium/GSM-Rail Project: Global System for Mobile Communication-Railway: (GSM-R): Advised the successful bidding consortium (SFR, TDF, Vinci, Axa IM), and then the project company Synerail, on its 15-year, €1 billion partnership contract for the GSM-R’s design, construction financing, operation and maintenance.

    Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération/State of Victoria (Australia): Our Paris office represented authority Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération (Mulhouse, France) in the sale of five tramway trains to the Public Transport Authority of the State of Victoria (Australia).

    Setrag and Comilog: Represented Setrag and Comilog, Gabonese subsidiaries of the French mining group Eramet, in the context of the €85 million financing by International Finance Corporation and Proparco of the first tranche of the rehabilitation and renewal project of the Transgabonais railway in Gabon.

    Sponsors/Nîmes-Montpellier Bypass Railway Project: Advised the sponsors (Bouygues Travaux Publics, Colas, Spie Batignolles, Meridiam, FIDEPP) regarding the €2.2 billion PPP contract for the design, construction, financing and maintenance of the Nîmes-Montpellier Bypass railway project.

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Social and Sports-Related Infrastructure

  • Bouygues and Barclays European Infrastructure Project Fund/Secondary School Developments: Advised project sponsors—construction company Bouygues and Barclays European Infrastructure Project Fund—and the project company Lylopolis on the 22-year PPP financing and industrial contracts for the €85 million design, financing, demolition and reconstruction, technical operation and maintenance of two high schools in France’s Lorraine region.

    Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) de Caen: Advised the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) de Caen in its PPP extension project.

    Consortium/Bourgoin Hospital Project: Advised the consortium (GFC Construction, EXPRIMM, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, FIDEPPP, NATIXIS) and Société Générale (mandated lead arrangers) in the financing of a greenfield hospital project in Bourgoin-Jallieu in France.

    Consortium/Nice and Nice Eco Stadium: Advised Banks SMBC Europe Limited, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole CIB and BBVA-Succursale de Paris on the financing aspects of a €245 million, 30-year PPP between the city of Nice and the Nice Eco Stadium consortium for a 35,000-seat, environmentally sustainable stadium.

    Consortium/Prisons Project: Advised the consortium (Bouygues, Exprimm, SEIEF, Dexia and the Royal Bank of Scotland plc.) and the financial lenders (Dexia and the Royal Bank of Scotland plc.) regarding the PPP contract for the design, construction, financing and maintenance of the second and third group of prisons launched by the French Ministry of Justice.

    Depfa Bank/Centre Hospitalier Communale des Portes de l’Oise: Advised Depfa Bank regarding the financing of a PPP project for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the Centre Hospitalier Communale des Portes de l’Oise (France).

    Depfa Bank/Four Police Stations: Advised Depfa Bank with a PPP project involving the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of four police stations in France.

    Direction des Fonds d’Epargne/Grenoble University: Represented Direction des Fonds d’Epargne on the PPP project for  the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of three units of Grenoble University.

    French Bank/Hospital: Advised a French bank with the financing of a hospital in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

    Hélios A and Hélios B/Four Prisons: Advised Hélios A and Hélios B and their shareholders with respect to financing and junior funding issues with a PPP project for the design, financing, construction and maintenance of four new prisons in France.

    Le Mans Stadium: Advised Le Mans Stadium (the project company owned by Vinci S.A. and Vinci Concessions) on the financing of a concession project involving the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the future Le Mans Stadium.

    Rönesans, Meridiam, Other Turkish Companies/ Adana Integrated Health Campus: Advised the sponsors (Rönesans, Meridiam and other Turkish companies) in a public-private partnership contract for the design, construction, financing and maintenance of the Adana Integrated Health Campus in Turkey.

    Sponsors/Sathonay Barracks Project: Advised GDF Suez, GCC and Babcock & Brown in the PPP project involving the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of “gendarmerie” barracks in Sathonay, France.

    SRIA/University of Bordeaux: Advised SRIA on a 30-year deal with a consortium to build and maintain 16 buildings owned by the University of Bordeaux.

    Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited, Dexia Crédit Local/Bordeaux Stadium: Advised lenders Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited and Dexia Crédit Local on the negotiation and drafting of all the financing and related public and project documentation for the €219 million, 30-year partnership contract between the consortium Stade Bordeaux Atlantique and the city of Bordeaux, France.

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Toll-Roads, Motorways and Tunnels

  • Allianz Global Investors, a number of Allianz funds, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and Société Générale: Represented lenders Allianz Global Investors, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and Société Générale in the €620 million PPP project for the financing, design, construction and maintenance of the A507 motorway (L2 Bypass) in Marseille.

    Arcour/A19 Motorway: Advised the project company Arcour (and its main shareholder Vinci) with the refinancing on a limited recourse basis of the Artenay-Courtenay section of the A19 motorway in France, for a global amount of approximately €625 million.

    Autostrade per l’Italia/Eco-tax Project: Represented Ecomouv, a consortium led by Autostrade per l’Italia, the leading European concessionaire of toll motorway construction and management, and its parent company, Atlantia, on the PPP contract, financing and industrial contracts for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Eco-tax project, an automatic taxation system of heavy-trucks on the French motorway’s network, generating €2.7 billion in overall revenue for Ecomouv and representing a €650 million investment.

    ITOCHU/Algeria Motorway: Advised ITOCHU as a bidder for the award of a contract to build the eastern section of the East to West corridor motorway project in Algeria.

    La Société Marseillaise du Tunnel Prado Carénage: Advised la Société Marseillaise du Tunnel Prado-Carénage and the project sponsors with the refinancing of the Tunnel du Prado Carénage in Marseille, France.

    Terra Firma/Autobahn Tank & Rast Holding AG: Represented Terra Firma, one of Europe's leading private equity houses, in its acquisition of Autobahn Tank & Rast, Germany’s leading motorway service operator with 338 filling stations and 382 service areas around the country.

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Other Significant Matters

  • Groupe Eurotunnel S.A.: Advised Groupe Eurotunnel on the competition aspects relating to the acquisition of certain assets previously owned by failed ferry operator SeaFrance, subject to conditions. The acquisition took place as part of SeaFrance’s liquidation process.

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