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Freshfields advises French consortium on major public private partnership in Kenya

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (‘Freshfields’) has advised a consortium comprising VINCI Highways, VINCI Concessions, and Meridiam SAS on a public private partnership (PPP) contract with the Republic of Kenya, through its PPP Unit and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KenHA), for the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Highway PPP project in Kenya.

The PPP contract, which has a value of approximately €1.3bn and a 30-year horizon, was signed in Paris on 30 September 2020 in the presence of Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, and Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya.

The PPP project will transform the existing trunk road into a 175-kilometer dual two-lane motorway. Through an availability payment based PPP, the consortium will finance, design, widen, upgrade, operate and maintain this road corridor. The PPP project, which is among the largest PPP projects ever signed in Africa, is of significant strategic importance, and sets a template for the future of major infrastructure project procurement in Kenya and in East Africa. Financial close is expected in 2021.

The Freshfields team advising on the transaction was led by partners Gabriel Mpubani in London and Pascal Cuche in Paris, with support from partner Alex Carver, senior associate Ro Lazarovitch and associate Amanda Mapanda.

The project continues Freshfields track record of acting on the most significant project developments and financings globally. Earlier this year, Freshfields advised on the Amur Gas Processing Project in Far East Russia, the largest project financing in the world this year, and supported the commissioning of the Egyptian Refinery Company project in Mostorod, among the largest project financings attempted in Africa.