Société Générale, CDC close French university PPP

The French lender and its public partner, along with Eiffage and Norddeutsche Landesbank, will spend €53m on the building of a new campus in Lille.

Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking yesterday announced it had reached financial close on a social infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in Lille, Northern France.

The Paris-based bank will partner with French developer Eiffage, German lender Norddeutsche Landesbank and French public investor Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations to build the campus of the Communauté d'Universités et d'Etablissements Lille Nord de France (CUE Lille).

With a duration of 27 years and 7 months, the contract involves the financing, design, building and maintenance of three new buildings. Total investment on the project is estimated at €53 million.

The deal is the latest instance of collaboration between Société Générale and Eiffage, which have worked together on a number of education-linked PPPs over the past few years.

A flagship project has been the participation in the investment programme for the construction or refurbishment of 21 schools in Seine St Denis, north-east of Paris. Signed in April 2012 between the Conseil Général de Seine St Denis and Eiffage, the €230 million PPP covers the design, construction, financing and maintenance of eight of these schools.

Other projects have included the building of a new campus at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Techniques Avancées, with a total investment of € 130 million, and an energy savings performance contract with the Région Centre authorities covering 18 schools, high schools and public buildings.

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations has also been involved in a number of ambitious PPPs since the turn of the decade via its subsidiary CDC Infrastructure, with a focus on the energy and transport sector.

CDC is notably involved in the building of a €7.8 billion high-speed railway between Tours and Bordeaux, the longest ever financed via PPP in France. Other recent projects include Normandy’s Autoroute A88, also backed by the European Investment Bank, and the tramway linking Lyon to its Saint Exupéry airport.