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Linklaters advises on major Dutch roads project - A1/A6 

27 February 2013

On Tuesday 26 February 2013 the PPP project A1/A6 Diemen – Almere Havendreef in the Netherlands reached Financial Close. This project is part of the highway extension program Schiphol-Amsterdam-Almere (SAA). The financing agreements were signed, which marks the successful completion of the tender procedure for the design, build, financing and maintenance of the extension of the A1/A6 Diemen – Almere Havendreef.

Linklaters has advised eight commercial lenders and European Investment Bank (EIB) on this PPP project in the Netherlands for the SAAone consortium.  The deal is the first and largest of four related projects to enhance the capacity of the existing road network from Schiphol-Amsterdam-Almere.

The project closed less than four months after the appointment of the SAAone consortium as preferred bidder.  The Linklaters team was lead by Energy & Infrastructure lawyer Simon Caridia in London together with managing partner of the Amsterdam office, Martijn Koopal.

Simon Caridia said:

"This deal demonstrates that there is still significant interest in long term debt for the right project, in the right jurisdiction with the right sponsors.  We are delighted to have worked on this important transaction and the fact that the deal closed on schedule with a large bank group is testament to the strength of the sponsor group and the appetite for infrastructure projects in this market."

Martijn Koopal added:

"We are honoured to have advised on this strategic and high profile project in the Netherlands which capitalised on our Dutch project finance credentials. The closing of the N33 project just a few months ago demonstrated that the Netherlands is an attractive prospect for pension fund lending to project finance transactions.  This landmark deal highlights that the Dutch market nevertheless remains open to long term debt finance.  This is extremely promising for future projects in the Netherlands."

Other members of the Linklaters team included, in London, partner Ian Andrews, managing associate Ross Schloeffel and associates Rok Lasan and Subir Rajadhyaksha; in the Netherlands, associates Joris Ravelli and Bram Bulter; in Germany, managing associate Tina Hinz and associate Tom Shingler; and, in France, associate Vivien Bon.

The project reached Contract Close on 12 December 2012 when Rijkswaterstaat, the executive arm of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, signed the contract with the winning consortium SAAone. The DBFM-project has a nominal value of more than € 1 billion and a duration of 30 years. SAAone is a consortium comprising of HOCHTIEF, VolkerWessels, Boskalis and DIF.

By reaching Financial Close SAAone has secured the financing and the consortium can now commence with the project activities end 2013.

The project SAA-A1/A6 Diemen – Almere Havendreef is part of the road enhancement Schiphol – Amsterdam – Almere. In the coming years Rijkswaterstaat will extend the highways on this corridor. This secures that the region remains accessible. At the same time Rijkswaterstaat improves liveability along the highways. Construction activities last until 2020.

For more information on the project please refer to www.schiphol-amsterdam-almere.nl

For further information please contact Yael Shafrir on +31 20 799 6316 or Katie Hatcher on +44 20 7456 5758.

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