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The project cost is estimated at €140 million (US$192 million). Long term debt financing is arranged by a consortium of three banks consisting of Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Norddeutsche LB and Bayerische LB under the scheme of a covered bond.
In addition to their individual roles as lenders and hedging providers, the three banks are also acting in the following capacities: Credit Agricole acts as agent in the construction phase, Bayerische LB as agent in the operational phase and Norddeutsche LB as security agent. The loan agreement was signed on 13 March 2014. The loan has a term of approximately 20 years.
The banking syndicate refinances itself via German and French Pfandbriefe which the State of Schleswig-Holstein ensured by assuming a guarantee for the repayment of the principal and interest (Kapitaldienstgarantie). The financing structure provides for specific rights of the state to structure repayment of the loan.
DIF Infrastructure III holds the project together with Paribus Capital GmbH. The asset management of the rolling stock will be provided by northrail GmbH. Start of operations will be in December 2015.
In the context of a tender put out by Landesweite Verkehrsservicegesellschaft mbH (LVS) - a holding of the State of Schleswig-Holstein -, Paribus was chosen to lease out the locomotives to an operator also selected by LVS.
The project consists of the purchase and provision of at least 15 new Bombardier Diesel locomotives and 90 Bombardier used married-pair passenger waggons for the regional rail passenger traffic between Hamburg and the Island of Sylt. The rolling stock will be leased to a rail operator for 19 years, based on a fixed lease rental, that is backed by the state of Schleswig - Holstein.
DIF Infrastructure III was launched in January 2012. The fund held a first close in May 2012 and realised a final closing March 2013. The committed capital is € 800 million, which substantially exceeded the target of € 600 million.
The fund targets both primary projects that generate an attractive return and secondary (operational) projects that provide immediate cash yield. Key target markets are the UK, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia and Canada, while other countries in Western Europe and North America are targeted on a case by case basis.