Alberta Schools P3 (Phase Two) Achieves Financial Close

On April 15, 2010, the Government of Alberta signed an agreement with B2L Partnership to design, build, finance and maintain 10 state-of-the-art schools in the province through a Design-Build-Finance-Maintain public-private partnership. The schools are scheduled to open in June 2012 and provide space for more than 7,900 students. B2L Partnership had the lowest bid price at $253 million. According to the Government of Alberta, this public-private partnership resulted in a savings of $105 million to the province compared to the cost of providing the same work through traditional delivery methods. This agreement represents part of the second phase of Alberta's programme for the alternative procurement of schools.

Under the terms of the project agreement, Alberta agreed to contribute provincial funding of approximately $86.5 million by way of progress payments to the project. Total debt aggregated approximately $92 million, including approximately $75 million in long-term lending and a $17 million short-term tranche to remain in place until completion of construction and receipt of the final provincial progress payment. The financing was arranged and underwritten entirely by Bank of Ireland and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

HOCHTIEF PPP Solutions GmbH, parent company of HOCHTIEF PPP Solutions North America Inc., is investing 50 per cent of the project's equity, with GVest Infrastructure and Development Fund 1 and Connor, Clark & Lunn GVest Traditional Infrastructure Limited Partnership, each an affiliate of Gracorp Capital Advisors Ltd., providing, in aggregate, the other 50 per cent. The design-builder for the project is a joint venture of Graham Construction and Bird Construction, and the renewal and maintenance contractor is Honeywell.

B2L Partnership was advised by HOCHTIEF's in-house counsel, Cecil Kramer and, on the finance side, by a team from Davis LLP that included Ian Bendell, Andrew Burton, Linda Parsons, Eric Belli-Bivar, David Stratton, Celia Johnson, Yukiko Kojima, Ruby Chan and Jonathan Gilhen. With respect to the project agreements and related subcontracts, B2L Partnership was advised by a team that included Tobor Emakpor, Daniel Bank and Paula Olexiuk of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

The design-build joint venture was advised by Bird Construction's General Counsel Charles Caza and Graham Group's General Counsel Tony Clark, and by external counsel Doug Sanders, Jennifer Archer and Geoffrey Stenger, of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP's Vancouver office.

Honeywell was advised by its in-house counsel Elliott Gwosdy.

The Government of Alberta was advised by a team from Alberta Justice that included Andrée Blais, Lonnie Stewardson, Patrick Wingerchuk, Mark Enright, Jennifer Head and Jerry McKenna.

The Board of Trustees of Edmonton School District No. 7 was advised by the board's in-house counsel Jim Davies. The Calgary Board of Education was advised by the board's general counsel Rod Peden and by Laura Safran, QC, then of Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (now with Davis LLP). The Board of Trustees of Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District No. 1 and The Board of Trustees of Foothills School Division No. 38 were each advised by William Gray, QC, of Fleming LLP.

Bank of Ireland and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation were advised by a team from McMillan LLP that included Andrew McFarlane, Chris Bennett, Cheryl Stacey, Robert Scavone, Shahen Mirakian and Ken Bursey.