HICL pays £16m for Scottish schools stake

The London-listed infrastructure investor has acquired an interest in the South Ayrshire Schools PPP for £15.75m. The schools included in the finance, design and construction project are all now operational.

HICL Infrastructure, the UK listed infrastructure investor, has acquired a stake in Scotland’s South Ayrshire Schools public-private partnership (PPP) for £15.75 million (€17.9 million; $25.6 million). The size of the acquired stake was not disclosed.

HICL has acquired the stake from subsidiaries of UK developer Carillion, Lloyds Banking Group and Cyril Sweett Group, the international construction and property consultancy.

The South Ayrshire Schools project involved the finance, design and construction of three new primary schools, two new secondary schools and a new performing arts annex at an existing secondary school.

The schools were constructed by Carillion and are now managed and operated by Mitie PFI, the facilities management arm of UK facilities, property and asset management group Mitie. All of the schools became operational between January 2008 and January 2010.

In a statement, HICL said the consideration paid was “in line with the current valuation of similar UK PFI projects in the group’s portfolio” and was funded from existing resources.

The deal brings HICL’s portfolio to 42 infrastructure investments – most of them operational – an almost threefold increase in size since the fund launched in 2006 with 15 infrastructure assets worth £250 million. The investments made last year also include HICL’s first Canadian deal.

HICL is advised by InfraRed Capital Partners, the management team formerly known as HSBC Specialist Investments, which spun out of HSBC in May. As part of the agreement, the bank retained a 19.9 percent stake in the $4 billion infrastructure and real estate platform. HSBC also said it would consider commitments to future funds of InfraRed on a ‘case by case’ basis.