UK law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn has advised the senior creditors on the Scottish aspects of one of the largest and most complex road projects involving bond financing in the UK – The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route / Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project.
Worth £745 million, the project is being delivered in partnership by Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council. Successful financial close with project funders, The Aberdeen Roads Limited Consortium (Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Galliford Try), was achieved on Friday December 12, 2014.
The contract covers the design, build, finance and operation (DBFO) for the A90 AWPR/B-T Project.
Norton Rose Fulbright were the lead legal advisers to the senior creditors and fielded several separate teams to support the multiple funding parties involved in the complex funding solution. On the Scots law aspects (which ranged from Scots law security advice to procurement, planning and project document input) Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP worked closely with Norton Rose Fulbright in advising the senior creditors.
The project was closed under a unique financing structure with £600 million of funding being sourced from a combination of senior secured fixed-rate bonds of Allianz, European Investment Bank (EIB) debt, a tranche of senior commercial debt provided by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (BTMU) and equity bridge facilities provided by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Barclays. The bonds amount to £190 million and are listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. The EIB is providing £270 million and BTMU £80 million in senior bank debt and £60 million equity bridge facilities making this one of the largest and most complex UK roads projects to close involving bond financing.
Clare Foster, Partner, Finance and Restructuring, Shepherd and Wedderburn stated:
“We are delighted to have worked with the team at Norton Rose Fulbright in advising the senior creditors on this innovative pathfinder project. The AWPR/B-T project is a tremendous example of roads infrastructure development in the UK and we are pleased to have played our part in a project which will undoubtedly bring major benefits to the economy in Aberdeen and north east Scotland.”
Construction of the route will include 12 junctions, two river crossings at the River Dee and River Don, a bridge for crossing the Aberdeen to Inverness Railway, four major pipeline crossings and three wildlife bridges in addition to more than 100 other structures. Work on the bypass is expected to be completed by winter 2017.
The Shepherd and Wedderburn team was led by partner Clare Foster, assisted by partner, Rhona Harper.
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by London partners, Mark Berry, Martin McCann and Farmida Bi.
Allen & Overy were advisers to EIB.
Pinsent Masons advised the project company, Aberdeen Roads.