BAM reaches financial close on Dutch A12 road

The Dutch developer has secured support from BTMU, DZ Bank, Fortis, KBC, KfW and the EIB to reach financial close for a €260m section of the Netherlands’ A12 highway. The A12 is the smallest of the Dutch ministry of transport’s two road projects currently in procurement.

Dutch developer Royal BAM Group announced last Friday that it had reached financial close on a stretch of the A12 highway, linking the Dutch cities of Utrecht-Lunetten and Veenendaal.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, DZ Bank, Fortis, KBC, KfW and the European Investment Bank have helped close the €260 million project, which will see BAM widen a 30-kilometre section of the A12. Construction works are due to begin in early 2011 and should be completed by the end of 2012, BAM said in a statement.

The 20-year contract to design, build, finance and maintain the A12 motorway will be backed by availability payments – contributions paid by the public authorities to the private sector in exchange for making the asset available in good condition.

BAM was advised on the deal by KMPG Corporate Finance, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Nauta Dutilh, Aon Risk Services, Clifford Chance, Mott MacDonald, Aon Global Risk Consulting and BDO. The Dutch ministry of transport – Rijkswaterstaat – was advised by PriceWaterhouseCoopers as well as Pels Rijcken & Drooglever Fortuijn.

The A12 was the smallest of the ministry of transport’s two road projects currently in procurement. The larger A15 highway project, near Rotterdam, is next in line to reach financial close, with Dutch construction firms Ballast Nedam and Strukton together with Strabag and UK developer John Laing the preferred bidder for that project.

The A15 intends to improve the road connection between the port of Rotterdam and its hinterland and will require the winning consortium to widen and maintain a 40-kilometre stretch of the highway for 25 years. According to a statement from EIB, which plans to lend up to €500 million to help fund the project, the road’s final cost may reach €2 billion.

Jan van Schoonhoven, head of the Dutch PPP unit, said in an earlier interview that “banks are very willing to fund this [A15] project. The transport ministry has regular talks with all major banks and there is no hesitation.” Over 20 commercial banks are said to be looking at the A15 deal, which is also backed by availability payments.