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HICL goes double Dutch with €21.3m acquisitions

Sealing deals with local firm Ballast Nedam, the UK fund has invested in the Netherlands’ A9 motorway and bought the remaining share it did not own of a prison.

London-listed vehicle HICL Infrastructure Company has agreed two deals in the Netherlands with Dutch construction firm Ballast Nedam worth €21.3 million.

The fund has acquired a 20 percent stake in the A9 Gaasperdammerweg motorway project, part of a road regeneration and expansion programme in Amsterdam. A 20-year concession will begin in 2018 once the scheme is largely completed.

HICL joins the PPP alongside existing shareholders Fluor, Heijmans Capital and 3i Infrastructure, each of whom holds equal equity. Ballast Nedam will retain a 5 percent stake. The project reached a €700 million financial close in November 2014, with €550 million of debt finance provided by the European Investment Bank, BNG, ING DZ Bank, KBC, SMBC and Société Générale.

HICL has also agreed to acquire an additional 25 percent of Ballast Nedam’s share in the Zaanstad prison in the Netherlands’ Westzaan province. The deal ensures HICL is the sole owner of the 1,000-detainee facility after it paid Ballast Nedam €11.5 million for a 75 percent interest in 2015.

The PPP penitentiary was funded in 2013 by short-term debt facilities from ING and NIBC while the banking duo sourced long-term funding for the project from institutional investors. The latter marked one of the first deals made via ING’s PEBBLE platform, which sought to bring banking and institutional finance together for greenfield infrastructure projects.

The sales by Ballast Nedam are a continuation of the company’s disposal of selected infrastructure assets after it incurred a €59 million operating loss in its infrastructure division in 2014 due to cost overruns on several projects. It continues to focus on smaller, integrated infrastructure projects while striving to reduce its risk profile.