Exclusive: Meridiam mulls bond financing for Turkish projects

The French manager aims to invest in up to four new hospitals by the end of next year, bringing its total assets under management in the country to €2bn.

Meridiam Infrastructure (Meridiam) is looking to kick-start Turkey’s infrastructure project bond market as it seeks financing for further projects in the country, according to a top executive at the Paris-based firm.

The company is already invested in two healthcare projects in Turkey, the second of which reached financial close last June with the sole backing of international commercial lenders. The package included an 18-year senior loan, totalling €110 million, as well as equity investments by the shareholders of the project company.

The fund manager is now working on deploying more capital in the country and is likely to invest in another three or four hospital projects before the end of next year, Jean François Marco, senior vice-president for Africa at Meridiam, told Infrastructure Investor. That would bring the total assets managed by the firm in Turkey to about €2 billion.

The projects are part of the government’s plan to build 19 new hospitals across the country, a programme that is testing the limits of domestic and international lenders’ firepower as most schemes are meant to be undertaken within a relatively short time frame.

Marco said Meridiam had started thinking beyond this one-off wave of healthcare opportunities and was now considering potential investments in the education and water sectors, though Marco said such deals would probably come to fruition only after general elections planned for November 1.

The firm invests in Turkey through a sub-fund dedicated to Eastern Europe from its €935 million European vehicle.

Meridiam is also exploring other geographies with Rönesans Holding, a Turkish developer and its main partner in the country, with a particular focus on Africa. In due course it could consider opportunities in markets neighbouring Turkey, Marco added.

The company launched its Africa Infrastructure Fund in September 2014, hoping to raise €300 million. The vehicle, whose remit include renewable energy, conventional power, transport and social infrastructure, aims to invest in projects with an average size of between €200 million and €700 million.