HICL doubles UK school stakes

The listed infrastructure investment firm has increased its interests in two Building Schools for the Future projects from 40% to 80%.

HICL Infrastructure Company (HICL), the London-listed infrastructure investment firm, has announced two new acquisitions for a total consideration of £16 million (€22 million; $24 million).

The firm has increased from 40 percent to 80 percent its stakes in two related Building Schools for the Future (BSF) projects: Salford & Wigan (S&W) Phase 1 and Salford & Wigan (S&W) Phase 2. The additional interests have been acquired from Hochtief Solutions PPP (UK), a subsidiary of German developer Hochtief.

S&W Phases 1 and 2 are concessions of 26 years and 27 years respectively to design, build, finance, maintain and operate (DBFOM) five new secondary schools in Salford and Wigan in Greater Manchester, north-west England, on behalf of Salford City Council and Wigan Borough Council.

Phase 1 was signed in 2010 and has been fully operational since 2011, while Phase 2 was signed in 2011 and has been fully operational since 2013. Construction of both projects was undertaken by Laing O’Rourke Construction and hard and soft facilities management are being provided by SPIE Facility Services.

The acquisitions were funded by HICL’s revolving credit facility. The firm, which is advised by fund manager InfraRed Capital Partners, has a current portfolio of 101 social and transport investments, with mainly availability-based income streams, which are in their operating phase and yield steady returns.

The latest deals follow a BSF investment made earlier this month by HICL, when it raised its interest in the Newham BSF project in London from 68 percent to 80 percent. At around the same time, it also acquired a 75 percent stake in the Zaanstad Penitentiary public-private partnership (PPP) in the Netherlands for €11.5 million.