Equitix buys into two street lighting PFIs

The UK-based developer and investor has acquired a 50 percent stake in the Oldham and Rochdale street lighting projects in north-west England. Both projects involve 25-year concession contracts.

Equitix, the UK fund manager, has bought a 50 percent stake in two Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects for an undisclosed sum.

The Oldham and Rochdale Street Lighting PFIs both involve 25-year concession contracts for the provision and maintenance of public street lighting and traffic signs in the metropolitan boroughs of Oldham and Rochdale in north-west England.

In a statement, Equitix said the contracts – worth a total of £220 million (€249 million; $358 million) – involve working in partnership with the two councils to cut long-term maintenance costs, reduce crime and achieve road safety and environmental benefits.

Specifically, the agreements will see: the replacement of approximately 22,000 lighting columns in Oldham (80 percent of the total stock) and 25,000 in Rochdale during an initial five-year core investment programme; the replacement of a further 5,467 lighting columns in Oldham and 4,383 in Rochdale during a 20-year operational period; reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions; and the installation of technology for the early detection of defective lighting.

The statement said that Equitix was investing in the projects alongside UK-based engineering consultants Pell Frischmann and that the scheme would be delivered by E.ON, the German energy firm, through a sub-contract.

Earlier this year, Equitix announced a first close of £70 million on its second fund – which is targeting £150 million – after three months of fundraising. The firm’s first fund, which is fully committed, raised £104 million.