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28 April – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Norton Rose acts on Italy…

28 April – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Norton Rose acts on Italy’s first UK-style hospital PPP project – Mestre Mandated lead arrangers ABN Amro, Banca Intesa, Banca Antonveneta and Interbanca (the Bank Group) have agreed to provide €133 million of senior debt financing for the Mestre hospital project.

The €230 million hospital development, just outside Venice, represents the first large-scale hospital PPP project in Italy to follow the UK PPP model. International law firm Norton Rose advised the Bank Group. The European Investment Bank has signed a committed re-financing facility for part of the senior debt, demonstrating the EIB’s interest in supporting infrastructure projects in Italy.

The Mestre hospital project is sponsored by a number of firms led by major Italian contractor Astaldi and is being implemented through a SPV named Veneta Sanitaria Finanza di Progetto. Construction of the new hospital, which will be more than 200,000 square metres in size and will have around 700 beds, has already begun and is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2007.

Although not the first PPP hospital in Italy, Mestre is the first to follow the UK PPP model where the private sector developer and funders take real performance risk for the delivery of non-clinical services.

According to Sergio Sambri and Mike Taylor, lead partners on the Norton Rose team:
“While standard in the UK PPP model, this is the first hospital deal in Italy to focus on service delivery, rather than pure asset delivery and its conclusion marks a new chapter in the continental European PPP market. With Mestre, we have demonstrated that it is possible to satisfy the needs of the international financial market within the Italian legal framework.”

The Norton Rose team advising the Bank Group on this headline deal was led by partners Sergio Sambri and Mike Taylor, assisted by senior associates Arturo Sferruzza, Maurizio Mengassini and Cecilia Buresti, and associates Enrica Pagani, Dan Kennedy, Elisabetta Negrini and Gabriele Bonivento. Antonello Lupo, partner, and associate Fabio Chiarenza advised on tax matters.

For further information please contact:

Michael Taylor, partner
+39 02 8635 941 michael.taylor@nortonrose.com

Sergio Sambri, partner
+39 02 8635 941 sergio.sambri@nortonrose.com

Sean Twomey, head of public relations
+44(0)20 7444 3740 0781 0794 901 sean.twomey@nortonrose.com

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.