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HICL invests in French campus

The London-listed company has reached financial close on the École Centrale-Supélec project shortly after divesting Colchester Garrison to Allianz, the PIP and Dalmore Capital.

HICL Infrastructure Company (HICL), an investment firm listed on the London Stock Exchange, has invested in the École Centrale-Supélec public-private partnership (PPP) in France.

The project, which reached financial close yesterday, consists of the design, construction, finance and maintenance of a new facility for the Centrale-Supélec graduate school of engineering on the Plateau de Saclay, south of Paris.

It will also involve the development of a shared teaching and research facility, an underground car park and a hotel facility, although revenues from these facilities are not part of the project.

HICL invested a total of £3.4 million (€4.6 million; $5.2 million) in the PPP, comprising a loan stock subscription obligation payable at the end of the construction phase. The project is due to take about two years to complete, with an ensuing operational period of 26 years.

The facilities will be built by Bouygues Bâtiment Ile de France and managed by Bouygues Energy & Services, which will also assume the life-cycle management risk.

The deal comes two weeks after HICL netted £21.7 million in profits on the sale of the Colchester Garrison Ministry of Defence Project to a subsidiary of Germany’s Allianz, the PPP Equity PIP fund, and Dalmore Capital Fund II. PPP Equity PIP, which had garnered £350 million of a £600 million target at the beginning of December 2014, is the maiden vehicle of the UK’s Pensions Infrastructure Platform. It is managed by London-based Dalmore Capital.

In January, HICL also disbursed £8.1 million to acquire additional stakes in the Willesden Hospital Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and the Barking and Dagenham Schools PFI projects. The company now owns a portfolio of 96 infrastructure investments, all of which are social or transportation infrastructure concessions.