France signs € 1 billion motorway concession

By Helen Wright25 January 2011

A consortium including companies run by Bouygues, HSBC and DIF has been awarded a € 1,1 billion concession contract for the development of a 105 km stretch of motorway in southwest France.

The French government awarded the 40-year contract to the Atlandes consortium, which comprises Bouygues subsidiary Colas together with Spie Batignolles, NGE, Egis, and investment funds HSBC European Motorway Investments 1 and DIF Infrastructure II.

The concession covers the design, finance, construction and operation of the stretch of the A63 running between the French towns of Salles and Saint-Geours-de-Maremne. Construction work is set to begin this autumn and includes widening the road to incorporate six lanes.

The motorway is planned to be open to traffic by July 2014.

Atlandes said its total € 1,1 billion financing included € 200 million in shareholders' equity and nearly € 900 million in credit from a pool of ten European banks.

The consortium also paid a € 400 million buy-in for the project - a sum which guarantees the availability of the existing infrastructure for the next 40 years.

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