HSBC, DIF consortium wins €1.1bn French road concession

HSBC Infrastructure Fund III has the largest single stake in the consortium that includes DIF Infrastructure II and a subsidiary of French infrastructure group Bouygues. The consortium has to pay an upfront €400 million entry fee.

The Atlandes consortium, which includes HSBC and Dutch fund manager DIF, has won a 40-year concession for the widening, renovation, financing and operation of a stretch of the A63 motorway in southwest France.  HSBC said in a statement that the total project cost is €1.1 billion.

The project involves broadening the 105-kilometre road to make it a six-lane highway.  Part of the financing was provided by the European Investment Bank, according to a statement from Gide Loyrette Nouel, legal advisers on the project.

The Atlandes consortium comprises DIF Infrastructure II; Colas, a subsidiary of French infrastructure group Bouygues; Spie batignolles; NGE; Egis Projects; and HSBC European Motorway Investments 1, the vehicle through which HSBC Infrastructure Fund III is investing in the project.

The team has to pay an upfront entry fee of €400 million to the procuring authority, according to a statement from Gide Loyrette Nouel.  The consortium was chosen as the preferred bidder for the project last August.

HSBC said in a statement that HBSC Infrastructure Fund III, which is targeting $1 billion and closed on $580 million last year, has the largest single stake in the project.

This week, DIF Infrastructure II also closed on a €130 million Belgian schools project.  The DIF Infrastructure II fund closed last September on €571 million.