Largest P3 in Québec Completes $1.1B Financing

On September 25, 2008, Nouvelle Autoroute 30, S.E.N.C. entered into a private partnership agreement with the Minister of Transport of Québec (MTQ) and completed the approximately $1.1 billion financing of the Autoroute 30 Public-Private Partnership (P3) Completion Project. The Autoroute 30 P3 Project provides for the design, build, finance, operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of a 42 kilometre extension of Highway 30 southwest of Montréal, including a tolling facility, a bridge over the St. Lawrence River, seaway facilities and a tunnel beneath the Beauharnois Canal, as well as the operation and maintenance of an additional 32 kilometres of the highway.

The Autoroute 30 P3 represents the largest P3 project closed to date in the Province of Québec. The net present value of the payments to be made by the Québec Transportation Minister, calculated in dollars as of July 1, 2008, totals approximately $1.5 billion.

Nouvelle Autoroute 30 is a general partnership formed by sponsors Acciona, S.A. and Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras S.A., both of Spain, their Canadian subsidiaries Acciona Nouvelle Autoroute 30 Inc. and Iridium Nouvelle Autoroute 30 Inc., which are equal partners in Nouvelle Autoroute 30, G.P., as well as the design and build entities Dragados Canada, Inc. (a subsidiary of Dragados S.A. and part of the Iridium Group), Acciona Infrastructures Canada Inc. (a subsidiary of Acciona Infraestructuras, S.A. and part of the Acciona Group) and Construction DJL Inc. (a subsidiary of Vinci Group of France) as well as ARUP Canada (design), S.I.C.E. S.A. (toll design and equipment) and Verreault Inc. (strategic partner).

The banking syndicate was led by a group of six primary mandated lead arrangers, including Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA), Banco Español De Crédito, S.A. (Banesto), Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Madrid (Caja Madrid), Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona, “La Caixa” (La Caixa), Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) and Royal Bank of Canada. Royal Bank of Canada is the administrative agent of the banking syndicate.

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP acted for the MTQ and the Agence des Partenariats Public-Privé du Québec. An FMC team led by Michel Jodoin and including Nicolas Roy and Allan Mass (financing) and Mylène Henrie and Morgan Kendall (corporate and construction matters) assisted the MTQ and P3 Québec and their respective in-house counsel, Nathalie Mills and Eve-Marie Le Fort.

Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP acted for the sponsors and consortium members of the Nouvelle Autoroute 30 partnership, with a team led by Luc Lissoir and consisting of Daniel Lacelle and Brent Kerr (Vancouver) (tax structuring); Pierre Lissoir, Sophie Morin (corporate structuring and documentation, bid and private-partnership closing documentation); David Kierans, Sophie Laviolette, Paule Tardif (bid commitment and financing); Sébastien Demers (operations and construction matters); Paul Granda (environment); Sophie Morin and Pierre Legault (insurance matters); Pierre Pilote and Éric Thibaudeau (labour and employment); and Bill MacGregor (Waterloo) (immigration). The Gowlings team worked closely with representatives of the sponsors and consortium members and RBC Infrastructure Group and assisted the sponsors' legal team led by Juan Solaz Garcia and David Lopez Olmos (Iridium Group), Jaime de Rivera de Lettona (Acciona), Eva Maria Olano Kalin (Dragados) and Maria Vera (Acciona Infraestructuras).

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP's Yvan Houle and Tammy Shulman acted for Dragados Canada and Acciona Infrastructures Canada Inc. on construction and formation of the construction joint venture contract matters.

Ogilvy Renault LLP represented the banking syndicate, with a team comprised of Robert Borduas, Martin Thériault, Alain Ricard, Serge Levy, Michèle Friel and Hoa Phong Le (finance); and Jules Charette and Derek Chiasson (tax).