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Aviva takes debt position in Irish road PPP

The UK insurer has announced a €10m participation in the €300m debt financing supporting the recently closed N17/N18 motorway link project near Galway.

Aviva Investors (Aviva), the UK’s largest insurance firm, has acquired a €10 million position from French bank Societe Generale in the €300 million of debt financing supporting the N17/N18 Gort to Tuam road public-private partnership (PPP) in Ireland.

The PPP involves the financing, design, construction and operation of a new 57-kilometre dual carriageway section of the N17/N18 near Galway, on the west coast of Ireland, for the National Roads Authority of Ireland. It forms part of the Atlantic Road Corridor, a route network providing north-south linkage in the western region.

The debt package was provided by Bank of Ireland, the European Investment Bank, Natixis and Societe Generale. Fund managers Marguerite Fund and HICL provided equity for the deal, which was worth €550 million in total.

The stake acquired by Aviva represents the fourth investment made by its Aviva Investors European Secondary Infrastructure Credit SV (securitisation vehicle), which was launched in July 2013.

The vehicle issues Profit Participating Notes backed by a portfolio of infrastructure debt. It focuses on operational, core European infrastructure assets in sectors such as public buildings, transport, transmission and distribution, and renewable energy.

Matthew Vickerstaff, global head of structured finance at Societe Generale, said the deal with Aviva “clearly demonstrates how banks and institutional investors can work together successfully in closing transactions.”