Skanska sells stake in Scotland school PPP

The Sweden-headquartered construction and development firm has sold its half of a school project for €3.3m. The PPP had been the second education project won by Skanska.

Skanska offloaded a stake in what had been its second-ever education public-private partnership (PPP), the Sweden-based company said.

Skanska sold its half in the Midlothian School project, an eight-building PPP in Edinburgh, Scotland to co-investor Barclays Integrated Infrastructure Fund.

The sale netted Skanska SEK30 million (€3.3 million; $4.3 million), according to the company. A spokesman for Skanska confirmed the company would continue to provide onsite maintenance, adding Skanska wanted to divest a mature asset becuase “further value creation” appeared “limited”.

The school project is spread throughout Edinburgh, the fast developing capital of Scotland with a growing population. The PPP was a unique combination of greenfield and brownfield construction.

Skanska, a construction and development company, began work on the Midlothian School project in 2005, partnering with Skanska Infrastructure Development and PFI Infrastructure Finance. The PPP carried a 30-year concession and cost a total of €41.2 million to build, according to Skanska’s website. 

The project generated minor discord in Scotland in 2007, when Skanska claimed construction had been stalled because a local subcontractor had laid improper screed. Screed is used to smooth concrete.

A leading Scotland flooring contractor named Tom Gribben publicly complained that Skanska was damaging the reputation of the screed industry in his country and insisted the proper screed had been used.

Aside from the Edinburgh project, Skanska is involved in a Bristol, England school PPP that is part of a nationwide programme throughout the UK.