Pinsent Masons advises on first PPP social infrastructure project financing in the UAE

19 Aug 2022 | 09:24 am | 1 min. read

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised HSBC, Intesa SanPaolo and The Norinchukin Bank on the Zayed City Schools public-private partnership (PPP) - the first social infrastructure project in the UAE “to achieve financial close”.

The Zayed City Schools project relates to the design, build, finance, maintenance and transfer of three school campuses with a capacity of 5,360 students in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed City. As the first project of its kind under Abu Dhabi’s new PPP regulatory framework, it is expected to pave the way for increased private sector participation in delivering social infrastructure in Abu Dhabi.

A multijurisdictional team at Pinsent Masons advising the lenders was led by Head of Middle East Catherine Workman and Matthew Escritt in Dubai, with support from Gurmeet Kaur and Aidan Fittis in Dubai, Martin Bishop and James Harris in Singapore and Jeremy King and Michael Capsalis in Melbourne.

Commenting on the deal Catherine Workman, Head of Middle East at Pinsent Masons, said:

"We are proud to have been part of the team that delivered such a high profile and ground-breaking transaction under considerable time pressure. We are confident that it will pave the way for increased private sector participation in delivering essential social infrastructure in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE. Our congratulations to all involved.”

The campuses have been designed to meet Estidama sustainability requirements and ensure Covid-19 resilience in terms of spatial layout and use. The financing was also documented in accordance with the APLMA’s social loan principles with HSBC acting as social loan co-ordinator on the transaction. The schools are scheduled to open for the start of the academic year in September 2024.

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