Highway 104 twinning project reaches financial close

The Government of Nova Scotia and Dexter Nova Alliance GP, which is a general partnership formed by affiliates of BBGI SICAV S.A., Municipal Enterprises Limited and Nova Construction Co. Ltd., reached financial close on the Highway 104 Sutherlands to Antigonish twinning project. The project carries a total contract amount of approximately $718 million.

The project is being delivered through a design, build, finance, operate and maintain P3 procurement model over a 20-year operating period. It consists of construction of a twinned highway beginning at the terminus of the existing highway east of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia at Sutherlands River, running east for 38 kilometres to just west of Addington Forks Interchange at Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Twenty-eight kilometres of two-lane twinned highway and 10 kilometres of a four-lane twinned highway will be constructed, as well as two new interchanges and 24 new bridges. Each of the Construction Contractor and the OM&R Provider is a company formed by affiliates of Dexter Construction Company Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Municipal Enterprises Limited) and Nova Construction Co. Ltd. 

The financing involved a senior construction facility and an offering of both medium-term and long-term bonds. National Bank Financial Inc. and HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc. undertook the bond offering, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, National Bank of Canada and Royal Bank of Canada provided the senior construction facility.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Project Agreement included customized force majeure relief for epidemics and pandemics during the construction period. 

Aird & Berlis LLP represented the Government of Nova Scotia, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal with a team led by Douglas Younger and Heidi Visser (infrastructure), assisted by Ryan R. Chalmers (infrastructure), Jesse Rosensweet and Sarah Newman (corporate/commercial).

Peter Stanhope (real estate) and Stephen Campbell (corporate) of BoyneClarke LLP also represented the Government of Nova Scotia, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal on matters of Nova Scotia law.

Ken MacLean and Andrew Inch acted as the in-house lawyers on behalf of Municipal Enterprises Limited. 

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP represented Dexter Nova Alliance GP with a team led by Catherine Doyle and Mark Johnson (infrastructure), with assistance from Christine Ferguson (infrastructure), Megan Shaw, Laura Gagnon, Jory Binder and Angela Crowley (corporate), Catherine Youdan, Tim Andison and Lauren Leahy (securities), Jason MacIntyre, Aletha Utley and Vlad Krasner (financial services). 

Christine Pound and Tyler James of Stewart McKelvey represented Dexter Nova Alliance GP and its affiliates on matters of Nova Scotia law.

Farris LLP represented the funders with a team led by Michael Allen, Maria McKenzie and David Selley, assisted by Cassandra Enns.