Bouygues/HSBC/DIF in pole position for €1bn French road

The consortium, known as Atlandes, has been named preferred bidder for the €1.1bn A63 highway in the southwest of France. The contract requires the team to pay an upfront fee of €400m to the procuring authority.

A consortium comprising a subsidiary of French infrastructure group Bouygues and infrastructure investors DIF Infrastructure II and HSBC Motorway Investments 1 has been name preferred bidder to upgrade and operate a section of France’s A63 highway.

The 40-year concession contract will require the consortium, known as Atlandes, to design, finance, build and operate an existing 105-kilometre stretch of the A63, located in south-western France, including the upgrading and widening of part of the highway to a six-lane roadway.

Total investment for the A63 project is estimated at €1.1 billion, with capex amounting to €500 million. Notably, the €1.1 billion price tag includes a €400 million entry fee, to be paid upfront to the procuring authority by the winning consortium.

The fee, a banker involved in the project explained, has to do with the road’s characteristics, since the A63 already has significant traffic volumes of both heavy and light vehicles.  The concession contract is scheduled to be signed at the end of December.

Following completion of construction works, the private partner will start collecting tolls directly from users starting on July 2014. The Atlandes  consortium comprises Bouygues subsidiary Colas, Spie Batignolles, NGE, Egis, HSBC European Motorway Investments 1 and DIF Infrastructure II.