INPP closes A$800m Queensland light rail project

BBVA, Export Development Canada, Intesa San Paolo and KfW are providing A$366m in debt for the project, which will also be funded with a A$365m grant from the Queensland government.

International Public Partnerships (INPP), the UK-listed investor in public-private partnerships (PPPs), announced last week that it had reached financial close for the Gold Coast Rapid Transit project, a light rail line to be located in Queensland, Australia.

The 18-year, A$795 million (€585 million, $839 million) contract will require the winning consortium to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a light rail line between Gold Coast University Hospital and Broadbeach, in Queensland. The light rail system is expected to open in 2014 and will be able to accommodate a peak daily throughput of 75,000 passengers.

Mandated lead arrangers BBVA (A$76.1 million), Export Development Canada (A$109.9 million), Intesa San Paolo (A$109.9 million) and KfW (A$70.4 million) are providing a total of A$366.5 million in senior debt for the deal. The loan has a tenor of 17.5 years and will pay a margin of 2.97 percent over the Bank Bill Swap Bid Rate (BBSY). BBSY is a benchmark rate normally used by firms engaging in interest rate swaps or related transactions.

The winning consortium – which in addition to INPP (26.6 percent) includes Marubeni Corporation (26.6 percent), Wilson HTM Investment Group (16.6 percent), Plenary Group (10 percent), Aveno Australia (10 percent) and Keolis (10 percent) – is backing the deal with A$64.5 million in equity. That brings the transaction’s total debt-to-equity ratio to 85/15.

The balance of funds comes in the form of a A$365 million grant from the Queensland government. 

To view the complete debt profile for Gold Coast Rapid Transit, please log on to Infrastructure Investor Assets, Infrastructure Investor’s companion database.