Advisors selected for $7bn Kuwait metro

Ernst & Young, Ashurst and Atkins will provide financial, legal and technical advisory services respectively for Kuwait’s $7bn metro project – the country’s second public-private partnership.

A consortium comprising Ernst & Young, Ashurst and Atkins has been mandated to provide financial, legal and technical advisory services respectively for a metro rail public-private partnership (PPP) contract in Kuwait.

The PPP deal is worth $7 billion and will require the private partner to build and operate a 171-kilometre metro network across Kuwait City. The metro network will include four lines and is the country’s second PPP. Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) is procuring it.

Ernst & Young, the consortium leader, is acting as transaction adviser, helping to structure the deal, oversee the tender process as well as scrutinising the previously concluded feasibility studies. The team will also evaluate the metro network’s design, carried out by the Kuwait Overland Transport Union and the Kuwait municipality.

Spanish state-backed transport firm Ineco and Kuwait’s ministry of communications have elaborated the metro network’s master plan.

Local media are reporting that a special purpose vehicle with mixed public and private ownership will be set up to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the metro network. 

The private sector winner of the tender process will own 40 percent of the company, the government will retain a 10 percent stake in it with the remaining 50 percent to be sold by the public authorities in an initial public offering, reports suggest. 

Kuwait’s PTB is reportedly working with several public bodies to help structure some 24 projects across various infrastructure sectors worth about $21 billion, the local media are saying.