A Meridiam-led team has completed the refinancing of the A66 Benavente-Zamora road availability-based PPP in Spain with three leading European institutional investors.
The team has refinance the road PPP project using the debt capital markets without the assistance of any credit enhancement; a first in the Spanish market.
Specifically, Meridiam, Acciona and Cintra successfully priced on 12 May 2015 the €184.5 million (US$205 million), 27-year bond at a 3.169% coupon.
The use of the new alternative fixed income market in Spain (MARF) for financing public infrastructures on this landmark transaction with the Ministry of Development and Public Works confirms the good initiative of the Spanish Authorities designing this market to diversify sources of finance on tailor-made financings.
The greenfield 49 km section of road, initially planned for completion mid-2015, opened to the public on 12 May, two months ahead of schedule. The 49 km A66 section completes the North to South axis "Ruta de la Plata" from Seville to Gijon in the sole section that was not previously operational under a 2x2 highway standard.
The bonds will list on a Spanish multilateral trading platform. The issuance priced at par with a semi-annual coupon and the maturity is 31 December 2041. The project company and issuer is Sociedad Concesionaria Autovia de la Plata and the shareholdings are Meridiam (50%), Cintra (25%) and Acciona (25%). The 30-year concession's grantor is Spain's Ministry of Development through the Roads Directorate General. The original €160.5 million senior debt facility from commercial banks and the European Investment Bank (EIB) closed on 31 July 2013, when Spain's economy was still in recession following the 2008 financial crisis. BBVA, Santander and Instituto de Credito Oficial provided €80.5 million while EIB provided €80 million of 21-year debt.
Thierry Deau, Meridiam Founder and CEO, stated:
"This is Spain's first debt capital market financed P3 and is also Meridiam's first project in Spain. We've been confident in the creditworthiness of Spain even during the most complex episodes of the crisis. We take great pride in this project and we'll continue to invest here for the long term in relevant infrastructure that brings employment, quality of life and ESG-added value to Spain and its citizens."