Vinci, Meridiam close on €1.2bn Slovak expressway

The project includes a €984m package of senior debt arranged by 13 banks, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Vinci and Meridiam are 50-50 partners in GRANVIA, the concession holding company for the project.

Vinci Concessions, a subsidiary of France’s construction conglomerate Vinci Group, and European infrastructure fund Meridiam have closed on financing for the €1.2 billion R1 expressway project in Slovakia.

Finance secured:
€984m of senior

The project, originally awarded to a consortium of Vinici and the ABN Amro Highway private equity fund in 2008, comprises the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a 52-kilometre highway to the east of Bratislava, the Eastern European country’s capital.

Earlier this year, it was reported that ABN offloaded its 30 percent stake in the consortium to Meridiam and Vinci sold an additional 20 percent, making it a 50-50 partner in the concession holding company, GRANVIA.

The financing comprises an €149 million contribution from GRANVIA shareholders, primarily in the form of subordinate debt, Vinci said in a statement.

An additional €984 million of senior debt is being provided by a club of 13 banks, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The debt has a maturity of 28 years, Vinci said.

Other banks reportedly involved in the deal include BNP Paribas, UniCredit, Calyon, SocieteGenerale, KfW IPEX, Erste Bank, BIIS, BBVA, Dexia and BayernLB.

Construction is expected to take 41 months and will be carried out by GRANVIA Construction, a Vinci subsidiary.

Following completion, the GRANVIA consortium will be remunerated by the government by an annual payment for making the expressway available to the public, also known as an availability payment.

The term of the concession is 30 years.