Public agencies help fund Italian toll road

The sponsors of a 62km toll road managed to obtain €1.82bn in limited recourse debt thanks to multilateral and Italian government support.

Brebemi, the concessionaire responsible for building a new toll motorway linking the northern Italian cities of Brescia, Bergamo and Milan, has managed to close a €2.34 billion financing to move the project forward. 

The complex, limited recourse financing was only possible with considerable help from the Italian government and multilateral support. According to Norton Rose partner Arturo Sferruzza, Brebemi is “the first major motorway project in Italy to be completed entirely with private self financing and project financing”. 

The funding package includes €1.82 billion of limited recourse debt, breaking down into a €760 million loan from state-owned Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CdP); a €105.5 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), guaranteed by Italian export agency SACE; and €935 million in commercial debt from Intesa Sanpaolo, Centrobanca, Credito Bergamasco, Unicredit and MPS Capital Services Banca per le Imprese. 

Part of the commercial facilities – including a €50 million stand-by facility, a €200 million VAT facility, and a €48.5 million performance bond – are also partially guaranteed by SACE.  In addition, CdP and the EIB are helping to fund the commercial facilities to the tune of €70 million and €600 million respectively. 

The remainder of the €2.34 billion financing amounts to €520 million of equity from the sponsors. Brebemi is a public-private consortium grouping banks, regional governments and other players. It counts more than 30 stakeholders. 

The 62-kilometre motorway project is about 65 percent completed and is scheduled to be fully completed by end of June 2014.