Norton Rose advises on US$1.2 billion expansion of Madinah Airport
4 July 2012
First full PPP in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
A Middle East and London team from international legal practice Norton Rose Group has advised the sponsors TAV Havalimanlari Holding A.S, Saudi Oger Limited and Al Rajhi Holdings (the TIBAH Consortium) on the financing and construction of the US$1.2 billion expansion of Madinah Airport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is the first full PPP (Public Private Partnership) project in Saudi Arabia and one of the largest infrastructure projects in the Middle East in 2012.
Norton Rose Group advised on the project documents as well as all aspects of the Shariah compliant project financing, equity bridge, working capital and stand-by facilities for the rehabilitation, expansion and operation of the airport. The new airport will have capacity to accommodate 8 million passengers in the first phase which will be ready by 2015 and the project’s total area will be spread over four million m2.
The financing was arranged by The National Commercial Bank, The Saudi British Bank and Arab National Bank. SMBC London acted as financial advisers to the sponsors.
Construction and infrastructure partner, Martin Preston commented: “We are delighted to have assisted the TIBAH Consortium in relation to this landmark PPP project in Saudi Arabia. Our work on the project demonstrates the project and Islamic finance capability in our Middle East offices and continues Norton Rose Group’s track record of working on some of the most complex and high value project finance transactions in the MENA region.”
Partner and Head of Islamic Finance for the Middle East and Africa, Mohammed Paracha commented: “This transaction is a good example of modern day ijtihad. This transaction ‘shifts’ Islamic project finance to the next level, by the creation of a structure based around the concession contract rather than physical assets - we are seeing the structure used on other PPPs where it is not possible to own key infrastructure assets that are required to make the procurement model work.”
M Sani Sener, TAV Airports President and CEO commented: “TAV Airports are very honoured to include in our airports portfolio the construction and operation of the airport of Madinah, one of the most significant cities for the Muslim world. Our partnership with two significant major companies of Saudi Arabia gave rise to a collaboration whereby we can succeed in further airport tenders in Saudi Arabia. I am confident that increasing the capacity for the Haj and Umrah trips to Madinah will have a significant contribution for the aviation sector of Saudi Arabia”.
The Norton Rose Group team was led by partners Martin Preston and Mohammed Paracha in Dubai, Chris Brown in London and Alan Bainbridge along with of counsel Paul Mansouri both based in Abu Dhabi. They were assisted by Nick Robinson, Martin Botik, Katie Liszka, Raza Anjum and Tom Lindley in Dubai and Helen Perrin and Jo Hossack in Abu Dhabi.
Linklaters LLP advised the lenders and White & Case advised the General Authority of Civil Aviation.
For further information please contact:
Amelia Snare, Business Development Manager - Middle East and Africa
+971 (0)4 369 6300
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Norton Rose (Middle East) LLP has over 30 years experience advising on all areas of project and Islamic finance transactions. We continue to be at the forefront of ground breaking deals and are consistently named as leaders in Islamic finance. Norton Rose (Middle East) LLP frequently acts for large financial institutions and high profile corporates in the capital markets sector in the Middle East, this being the latest in a string of high profile instructions.