DIF closes German rail deal

The firm’s third fund has reached agreement on a rolling stock project with the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

DIF, the Amsterdam-headquartered fund manager, has reached financial close on a rolling stock project in Germany worth approximately €140 million.

DIF teamed up with Hamburg-based fund manager Paribus Capital for the contract, which has been agreed with the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

It involves the purchase and provision of at least 15 new Bombardier Diesel locomotives and 90 Bombardier married-pair passenger wagons for regional rail passenger traffic between Hamburg and the Island of Sylt.

The rolling stock will be leased to a rail operator for 19 years, based on a fixed-lease rental, backed by the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Asset management of the rolling stock will be provided by Hamburg-based locomotive leasing specialist northrail. Operations are expected to commence in December 2015.

Long-term debt for the project has been arranged by a consortium of three banks consisting of Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale and Bayerische Landesbank under a covered bond scheme.

DIF’s investment comes from its DIF Infrastructure III fund, which closed on its raised hard cap of €800 million in April 2013. The same fund last month backed the €40 million financial close of a wastewater concession in southern France.