Allen & Overy and Gide on the bond refinancing of France's A88 motorway concession
16 December 2020
In full operation since August 2010, the Falaise - Sée section of the A88 motorway is a 45 km long 2-by-2 lane motorway that connects the Lower Normandy ports (Cherbourg, Caen-Ouistreham) and inland Normandy to the Calais-Bordeaux axis and to the national and international road network.
The concession contract, signed on 12 August 2008 by Alicorne (owned by APG, Ardian and NGE Autoroutes) and the French Ministry of Transport, is for a period of 55 years.
The new financing was provided in the form of bonds by Allianz Global Investors on behalf of its investors. Advised by Société Générale and, for hedging, by Ester, Alicorne was able to repay the loans initially granted by the EIB, Depfa-FMS and Dexia, and to unwind the interest rate hedges put in place by Depfa-FMS and Dexia. Aether Financial Services acted as agent and Natixis as bank account holder.
The Allen & Overy team was led by Paris partner Driss Bererhi, working with senior associate Tzvétomira Pacheva-Belghitar and associates Zineb Bennis, Cyril Cotterall and Dorian Le on financing, and also included partner Julien Sébastien on capital markets, as well as partner Romaric Lazerges and counsel Antoine Coursaut-Durand on public law.
Gide advised Alicorne with a team comprising partners Marie Bouvet-Guiramand and Laetitia Lemercier, working with counsel Farah El-Bsat, associates Faten Anis, Pascal Suffran and Cédric Gamambaye Dionmou. Partner Axelle Toulemonde and associate Chloé Bouhours acted on corporate aspects, while partner Laurent Vincent and associate Louis Ravaud worked on hedging aspects.
De Pardieu Brocas Mafféi advised the EIB with partner Jean-Renaud Cazali and associate Antoine Payen.