France's Grand Est broadband PPP reaches financial close

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France's Grand Est broadband PPP reaches financial close

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A French consortium have reached financial close on France’s Grand Est broadband PPP, the country’s largest broadband project.

The Grand Est fibre to the home (FTTH) broadband PPP is the largest broadband PPP to have reached financial close to date. The project is being financed with €900 million (US$1,075 million) of debt and equity from private investors as well as €220 million from public sources.

LOSANGE, the SPV behind the project, includes NGE Concessions (10%), Altitude Infrastructure (10%), Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) (33%), Quaero Capital (25%), and Marguerite (22%).

The group has secured finance from eight lenders: Societe Generale, SCOR, BNP Paribas, La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBPAM), Credit Agricole (via four regional subsidiaries operating in the region), Arkea, Crédit Industriel et Commercial (CIC), and local bank Caisse d’Epargne et de Prévoyance d’Alsace.

The consortium is being advised by SocGen (financial), Allen & Overy and Bird & Bird (legal), and Gras Savoye (insurance).

Mott MacDonald analysed the project risk profile and advised the lenders on potential technical challenges in areas such as contract documentation, design and construction schedule and operation. 

The project will connect approximately one million households and businesses across over 3,600 cities. The 35-year DBFOM concession contract involves the deployment of FTTH network across seven departments - Ardennes, Aube, Marne, HauteMarne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse and Vosges.

The Regional Council of Grand Est Region awarded the project to the NGE-led consortium in July 2017.

Construction of the project is due to be completed in 2022.

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