DIF seals financial close on £190m Irish school PPP

The Dutch firm is teaming up with Carillion to build and run six education facilities over a 25-year tenure.

DIF has reached financial close on the Irish Schools Bundle 5 PPP project, proving it is keeping a strong foothold in the European market despite its more global outlook.

The Dutch firm is partnering with UK developer Carillion to design, build and run six new education facilities over a 25-year period, with both consortium members holding 50 percent of the project’s equity.

The PPP’s total cost is estimated at £190 million ($249 million; €227 million). DIF is investing in the project via its fourth infrastructure vehicle, which closed last year on €1.15 billion.

The project financing includes equity bridge and loan facilities provided by Japan’s MUFG and Germany’s Helaba, with a term of 26 years. Construction of the schools is expected to complete in early 2018.

The deal comes after the firm sealed a string of European deals through its latest fund, which has a more global ambit than its predecessors.

Last month, DIF agreed to buy large stakes in Norte Litoral and Via do Infante, two road PPPs in Portugal, and joined forces with EDF Invest to acquire the whole of German gas grid Thyssengas. It also reached financial close on the €471 million refinancing of the A1/A6 Diemen – Almere Havendreef motorway.

In May, the firm closed a hospital P3 in Canada, which came after it clinched its first asset Down Under through acquiring the 20 MW Royalla solar photovoltaic power plant in the Australian Capital Territory in January.

Earlier this month, DIF promoted Paul Huebener, its head of Americas, to partner.