Lekki Deep Sea Port Project Named “African Infrastructure Deal of Year”

Project Financial International (PFI) has announced that the Lekki Deep Sea Port project has been named as its 2019 “African Infrastructure Deal of the Year.”

Willkie’s Paris office represents CMA Terminals (CMAT), a subsidiary of CMA CGM, world leader in maritime transport, in connection with the sub-concession from Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) to a dedicated subsidiary controlled by CMAT of the container terminal operations of the Lekki Deep Sea Port that LPLEL is developing in the Lagos Free Trade Zone, Lagos State, Nigeria. The CMAT-controlled subsidiary, structured as a joint venture with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), will operate the container terminal pursuant to a sub-concession agreement signed on September 30, 2019.

The port represents the largest private investment in infrastructure in Nigeria developed on a non-recourse project finance basis and with a majority of financing being raised internationally. LPLEL is a joint venture between Tolaram, CHEC (subject to completion of its equity investment; CHEC is also the company contracted to construct the port), the State of Lagos and the Nigerian Ports Authority (the NPA). The NPA granted LPLEL a 45-year concession in order to develop and operate the port, and the port’s construction (as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative) is being financed under a $629 million facility agreement that LPLEL signed with the China Development Bank last week. Operations are expected to begin in 2022.

The Willkie team was led by project finance partner Michaël Armandou and includes associates Jesse Gero and Maryon Demoulin. The team also includes corporate partner Annette Péron and associate Virginie Sayag.

The PFI Awards are part of the Thomson Reuters Awards for Excellence, recognizing corporate and individual success in the global financial industry. The award will be presented on February 5, 2019 at the 2019 PFI Awards Dinner in London.

Read: Willkie’s 11/1/2019 announcement.