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Plenary Group has achieved financial close on the Victorian Government’s AUD2 billion (US$1.49 billion) High Capacity Metro Trains project, just days after contractual close was achieved.
The project includes the delivery of 65 new high capacity trains being built in Victoria over the next six years, and the construction of new maintenance facilities in Pakenham East and Calder Park.
Plenary is the commercial and financial lead, asset manager, and an equity investor in the project – part of the Evolution Rail consortium contracted to deliver and maintain the trains over the next 35 years.
Evolution Rail also comprises Australia’s infrastructure services company Downer Group as delivery and maintenance lead, fleet manufacture partner and investor, and train manufacturer CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles as design and technology lead, fleet manufacture partner and investor.
The debt will be drawn through an eight-year, eight-month facility provided by leading domestic and international banks Westpac, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, HSBC, ICBC, Intesa Sanpaolo, Mizuho and UOB.
Equity financing will come from Plenary (30.1%), Downer (10%), CRRC (10%) and funds managed and advised by leading global private markets investment manager Partners Group (49.9%).
Preliminary works are underway, and the first of the new trains is expected to come into service in mid-2019.
Plenary Group CEO Paul Oppenheim said the efficiency with which financial close has been achieved reflects the strength of Evolution Rail’s bid, one that attracted the support from our debt and equity financiers.
Mr Oppenheim said:
“To have reached financial close so quickly is the first of what I’m sure will be many achievements in delivering this project – the largest order of rolling stock in Victoria’s history.”
“We are optimistic about the Victorian Government’s transport infrastructure agenda and this project is set to demonstrate the value-for-money outcomes that can be achieved from running a competitive public-private partnership process.”
“Plenary was particularly pleased to achieve the introduction of a new international entrant into the Victorian rolling stock manufacturing market (in CRRC) through a partnership with Downer that will achieve more than 60 per cent local content in the manufacturing of the new train fleet.”