On 20 March 2014, a Consortium consisting of Ondernemingen Jan De Nul, Algemene Aannemingen Van Laere, Franki Construct, Aswebo, Aclagro and DG Infra+ closed the so-called A11 Project, a "missing link" between Knokke and Bruges. The construction works were initiated by Minister Hilde Crevits last Saturday, 22 March 2014, and will take 3.5 years with availability scheduled for September 2017.
NautaDutilh acted as funders' legal counsel to the consortium Via Brugge, consisting of Ondernemingen Jan De Nul, Algemene Aannemingen Van Laere, Franki Construct, Aswebo, Aclagro and DG Infra, that incorporated together with Via-Invest the project company Via A11. The Brussels NautaDutilh team consisted of Didier De Vliegher (Responsible Partner), Benoit Samyn and Harry Eliaerts (Projects), Thibaut Willems and Audrey Zegers (Finance), Nicolas de Crombrugghe and Dorothée Vanderhofstadt (Capital Markets), David Mussche (Tax), Vincent Ost, Jens Mosselmans and Heidi Bortels (public procurement and permits).
Internationally, this project is receiving special attention for the way in which it is financed. Financing will include equity injected by both the private partner Via Brugge and the public partner Via-Invest, in combination with EUR 578 million in bond financing. The financing is fully committed by Allianz Global Investors and the European Investment Bank from the outset; however, unlike most other projects of this type, the funds will be drawn down over time throughout the construction of the project. The bonds will be publicly listed and benefit from the innovative Project Bond Credit Enhancement mechanism, created by the European Investment Bank and the European Commission to promote infrastructure projects. This project is the first transaction involving both construction and operation of an asset to benefit from the PBCE mechanism.
Click here to view the official press release.