Willkie Advises on Financing for Paris CDG Express Project

August 1, 2019

The Paris office represented the lenders on the financing of the project for the operation of the rail link between Paris-Est Station and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (the CDG Express Project).

Willkie’s Paris office recently advised the lenders on the €236 million multi-tranche bank and bond financing for the operation and passenger transportation service aspect of the CDG Express Project.

A public service contract was entered into on July 18, 2019 between the State and Hello Paris, the special purpose company set up by the sponsors (Keolis and RATP Dev) for the purposes of implementing the project. Under the terms of this contract, Hello Paris will assume, inter alia, the design, financing, construction or supply, and maintenance (including the renewal of rolling stock) of the commercial facilities and other assets necessary for the technical and commercial operation of passenger transportation services and the technical and commercial operation of the service.

The total investment amount of the CDG Express Project, which is equal to €257 million, will be financed by equity and quasi-equity contributions indirectly provided by Keolis and RATP Dev, as well as a mixed multi-tranche bank and bond financing including a bank debt tranche in the amount of €65.8 million made available by Société Générale and a bond tranche for a nominal amount of €170.4 million issued by Hello Paris and fully subscribed by funds managed by Allianz Global Investors.

The Willkie financing team was led by partner Amir Jahanguiri and included associates Cédric Gamambaye Dionmou, Mathilde de Wiljes, Maryon Demoulin and Kenza Alexandra Bentaibi. Administrative law aspects were handled by partner Thierry Laloum with assistance by special European counsel Charles Antoine Erignac and associate Gabrielle Reddé.