Financial Close achieved for $1.35 bn Texas P3 project

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Financial Close achieved for $1.35 bn Texas P3 project

A consortium formed by Cintra InfraestructurasMeridiam Infrastructure, Dallas Police and Fire Pension System and APG has achieved financial close for the concession to extend the North Tarrant Express in Texas (US).

NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3 LLC, the special purpose vehicle created for the project will invest around 1.35 billion dollars (around 1.01 billion euro).

The project will be financed with a combination of public and private funds: 531 million dollars from a federal TIFIA loan (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act); 127 million dollars from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT); 274 million dollars in Private Activity Bonds (PABs), maturing in 25 and 30 years (which were 2.5 and 4 times oversubscribed respectively); and 430 million dollars in equity.Enrique Díaz-Rato, CEO of Cintra, said:

"We are very pleased to have successfully attained financial close for this project. We have achieved an efficient capital structure despite the complex economic situation at present. We are looking forward to commencing a project that will bring growth and employment to the region, as well as great benefits to citizens".

The operation also evidences investor appetite for managed lanes projects. Managed lanes are currently the most advanced, safest and most reliable form of tolling. This totally electronic barrier-free system does not require vehicles to stop, and tolls are set dynamically on the basis of demand.

The project includes the following segments: the 3A (6.5 miles - 10.5 kilometers), which runs along the I-35W from Fort Worth to IH-280, with the interchange between the I-35W and the IH-820; and the 3B (3.6 miles - 5.8 kilometers), running from the interchange with the IH-820 to US 287. The 43-year concession will start from the date the highway opens to traffic, which is scheduled for mid-2018.

With this project, the fourth in Texas to be headed by Cintra, the company's managed investment in the state exceeds 7.4 billion dollars. In 2009, a consortium headed by Cintra was awarded the contract to develop and operate the first two sections of the NTE, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. In October 2012, Cintra inaugurated sections 5 and 6 of State Highway 130, between the cities of Austin and San Antonio in Texas; it will manage that concession until 2062.

In less than a year, Cintra landed three new projects in North America worth 3.85 billion dollars: the 407 East highway in Canada, the US-460 DBF in Virginia and this one.

Sources: Ferrovial & InfraPPP's research

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