International Public Partnerships Limited (INPP), the FTSE 250-listed infrastructure investment company, has increased its holding in the Northern Diabolo Project.
Made via a subsidiary, the acquisition will see INPP disburse €33 million for the 25 percent interest in the Belgium-based rail link it doesn’t already own. The transaction will be financed by the fund’s existing cash resources.
Launched in 2007, Northern Diabolo has involved financing and building a rail connection that provides faster access to Brussels Airport and maintaining it thereafter over a concession period of 35 years. INPP got the opportunity to make a further investment in the project through the pre-emptive rights it obtained upon acquiring its original 75 percent stake.
The construction period, which ended in February 2012, was completed on time and on budget, according to INPP. It involved the digging of a new tunnel under the Belgian capital, as well as linking the airport to the new Brussels-Antwerp high-speed rail line.
The project, which entered the operational phase last year, has a remaining concession period of 34 years. INPP receives revenues from it on an indexed fixed-fee basis, with part of the revenues dependent on passenger throughput.
INPP is advised by Amber Infrastructure, a UK-based infrastructure fund and asset manager. Both were born from a management buyout led by the PPP infrastructure team at Babcock & Brown, a now-defunct Australian investment firm.
Launched in 2006 via a £600 million (€711 million, $959 million) IPO on the London Stock Exchange, INPP raised £200 million of fresh capital in June 2012. Strong deal flow last year meant that 83 percent of this new pool was already allocated by November, and the vehicle raised an additional £40 million via a tap issuance in January 2013.
The vehicle is now invested in 122 social and transport infrastructure assets, which include schools, hospitals, utility and transmission projects in the UK, Europe, Australia and Canada.
Amber also manages three unlisted infrastructure vehicles providing senior debt, mezzanine and equity financing to energy projects in the UK: the £55 million Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales, the £100 million London Energy Efficiency Fund, and the £50 million Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres. The firm has £1.03 billion under management.