BBGI bolsters Northern Irish education interests

The London Stock Exchange-listed investment arm of German developer Bilfinger Berger has agreed to increase its stake in two Northern Irish college PPP projects. The fund raised £212m towards the end of last year.

Bilfinger Berger Global Infrastructure (BBGI), which raised £212 million (€252 million; $328 million) on the London Stock Exchange in December last year, is set to increase the size of its stakes in two Northern Irish college public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

The fund will up its equity holding in East Down Colleges from 50 percent  to 66.6 percent, and in Lisburn Colleges from 50 percent to 100 percent. The purchases, for a combined cash consideration of approximately £2.5 million, were agreed with Graham Investment Projects, the PPP arm of Irish and UK construction and facilities management firm Graham.

The acquisitions are conditional upon third-party consents and are expected to complete by August 2012. A statement from BBGI said the projects are both operational and “supported by contracted, public sector-backed revenue streams, with inflation protection characteristics”.

When BBGI listed on the London Stock Exchange in December last year, it was with the aim of buying up to 19 projects from its German developer parent, Bilfinger Berger, which owns 19.95 percent of the vehicle. Since then it has been busy adding assets to its portfolio, such as the £35.9 million Victoria Prisons PPP/PFI project in Australia in March this year.