HICL in busy start to the year

The UK-listed fund manager has completed a string of transactions in January, the two latest deals worth a combined £23.5m.

HICL Infrastructure Company (HICL), the listed UK infrastructure fund manager, has acquired minority interests in two UK projects from developers. Together, the two deals are worth £23.5 million (€28 million; $39 million).

The firm has purchased a 26 percent stake in Holdfast Training Services, a public-private partnership (PPP) joint venture with Babcock International Group, from a subsidiary of Carillion.

Holdfast is a 30-year concession to design, build, refurbish and maintain 32 new buildings, 21 refurbishments and five training areas in three locations across the UK on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

The Holdfast project was signed in 2008 and is nearing the end of a seven-year phased construction programme undertaken by Carillion Construction, which is expected to complete early next year. The project includes the provision of hard and soft facilities management, specialist training and training support services.

HICL has also acquired 40 percent of the Sheffield Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project from Vinci Investments.

Sheffield BSF is a 27-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) concession to design, build, finance, maintain and operate two new secondary schools and one new special educational needs secondary school in Sheffield for Sheffield City Council.

The project was signed in July 2007 and has been fully operational since September 2009, with construction having been undertaken by a subsidiary of Vinci Construction UK. The latter firm provides hard and soft facilities management services including catering.

In mid-January, HICL increased its stakes in the Derby Schools, Newport Schools and Medway Police projects from 80 percent to 100 percent (the additional stakes being acquired from Vinci Investments); while selling 80 percent stakes in the Dorset Police and Swindon Police projects to Vinci Pensions, the corporate trustee of the Vinci PLC pension fund.

Just prior to these transactions, HICL had made its first two investments in France: an 85 percent interest in the University of Bourgogne PPP and a 90 percent stake in the Troissereux Bypass RD901 PPP.

HICL launched on the London Stock Exchange in 2006 and now has a market capitalisation of around £1.5 billion. It currently has a total of 93 assets in its portfolio.