UK-based infrastructure investment company John Laing Infrastructure Fund (JLIF) has acquired an effective 40% stake in the Barcelona Line 9 Section II metro project in Spain.

It has reached an agreement for the acquisition with Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras, a subsidiary of the ACS group.

Line 9 runs directly through the heart of the Barcelona city centre, connecting the airport and the port district. The acquisition, which is expected to be completed over the coming weeks and is subject to the customary consents, is worth approximately £85 million (€115.55 million), and will be funded through JLIF’s £180 million (€244.68 million) multi-currency revolving credit facility.

This is JLIF’s first investment in the Spanish PPP (public-private partnership) market and, when completed, will bring the total number of assets in JLIF’s portfolio to 58.

JLIF said that despite several of the 15 stations currently being under construction through separate agreements, the delivery risk did not sit with in JLIF’s investment. The client, IFERCAT, is a public agency of the Catalan government, whose payments are backed by the Region of Catalonia, and which is financially supported by the Spanish Central Government.

The concession has more than 27 years to run, which JLIF said provided it with a significant long-term source of income. Iridium, one of the world’s leading infrastructure companies, will remain involved in the project, both as an equity participant and as a service provider.

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