7 January 2005 – LAWFUEL – Best for law news – The Hungarian M6 motorway project has reached financial close a mere four and a half months after the announcement of the preferred bidder, a specially formed project company called M6 Duna Autópálya Koncessziós Részvénytársaság. The project company was formed by Bilfinger Berger BOT, Porr Infrastruktur and Swietelsky International Baugesellschaft, with respective stakes of 40%, 40% and 20%, and was advised by international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
The project company has been granted a 22 year availability fee based concession by
the Hungarian government for the design, financing, construction, operation and
maintenance of a 58km stretch of motorway between Érditeto and the intersection of
the M6 and the M8 at Dunaújváros in Hungary.
Construction is being undertaken by a Hungarian partnership comprised of sponsor
affiliate companies. The construction obligations are guaranteed by the sponsor
parent companies. Construction works commenced in October 2004 and are scheduled to
be fully completed in September 2006. Interim completion and opening of the
motorway is expected in March 2006 and the tight construction timetable required
that construction be commenced while the finance documentation was still being
negotiated. The project company has a fixed price contract with Intertoll Pty Ltd
for the operation and routine maintenance of the motorway.
The financing was arranged and underwritten by Bayerische Landesbank, Commerzbank
Aktiengesellschaft, KBC Finance Ireland, Kereskedelmi és Hitelbank Rt, KfW and
Magyar Külkereskedelmi Bank Rt. The total debt financing is EUR455m, comprised of a
EUR411m term facility, EUR22.3m equity bridge facility, HUF equivalent EUR20.7m VAT
facility and a EUR1m working capital facility. In addition to the above, Bilfinger
Berger BOT provided a EUR14.8m mezzanine loan facility to bridge its own shareholder
contributions. Aggregate shareholder contributions will total EUR48m.
BNP Paribas acted as financial adviser to the project company. The lead arrangers
were advised by Clifford Chance.
The Freshfields team was led by partner Kent Rowey in London with associates Daniel
Agostino, Etelka Bogardi, Will Breeze and Marc Févre, with assistance from teams led
by Maria Pfluegl in Austria, Christian Bunsen in Frankfurt and Ulrike Rein in