Equitix Acquires Portfolio of PFI Streetlighting Projects
Equitix has today acquired from SSE plc a 100% equity interest in the special purpose entities (SPEs) established for the delivery of seven street lighting projects across England. The investment includes the acquisition of assets in Ealing, Islington, Hampshire, West Sussex, Southampton, Knowsley and Nottingham.
The SPEs are responsible for the refurbishment and upgrade of the assets and will continue to maintain and operate over 590,000 street lights across the seven local authorities. It also includes the provision, maintenance and operation of lanterns, illuminated signs, bollards and beacons.
The project SPEs have a 25 year agreement with their respective local authorities. Those operational responsibilities are being, and will continue to be, carried out by SSE Contracting Limited under a parallel 25-year sub-contract with the Equitix-owned SPEs.
Equitix Acquires a Portfolio of Three UK PFI Assets from London & Regional Properties
Equitix has completed on the acquisition of 100% equity and subordinated debt interests in a portfolio of three UK PFI and core infrastructure assets from London & Regional Properties. The assets that have been acquired as part of the portfolio are:
-Howden House, Sheffield City Council Offices PFI
-The Copeland Centre, Copeland Borough Council Offices PFI
-Newbury College Pathfinder PFI
The Howden House PFI project consists of a 30-year concession to provide local government office accommodation facilities for Sheffield City Council, with Financial Close having been reached in 1999 and the project commencing operations in 2001. Similarly, the Copeland Centre situated in Whitehaven, Cumbria, comprises a 25-year concession to provide local government office accommodation facilities for Copeland Borough Council, with FC being reached in 2002 and operations commencing in 2004. Newbury College is one of the early ‘Pathfinder’ PFI education projects that reached FC in 2001 and comprises of a wide array of facilities and resources to assist with the delivery of a variety of training programmes with approximately 1000 courses offered including GCSEs, A Levels, NVQs, Apprenticeships and Foundation Degrees.
Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Equitix, commenting on the acquisition, said:
“The successful acquisition of this high-quality portfolio of PFI assets further demonstrates our continued appetite for investment into the UK social infrastructure market. Whilst we continue to diversify the Equitix portfolio, investment into the UK social infrastructure sector remains very much a cornerstone of the business and as such I am delighted to be able to report on the completion of this transaction”.
Equitix Signs First Waste Deal alongside AmeyCespa
North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council have formally signed the contract to design, construct and operate the state-of-the-art integrated waste management facility, Allerton Waste Recovery Park.
The 25-year contract involves the design, construction and operation of an integrated waste treatment facility in Allerton, North Yorkshire, capable of treating 320,000 tonnes of household and commercial waste per year from across North Yorkshire and York. AmeyCespa has proposed a combined waste treatment solution that consists of Mechanical Treatment, Anaerobic Digestion and Energy from Waste. The plant will generate renewable electricity for the equivalent of over 40,000 homes.
Further benefits to local residents include:
- reduced costs for local waste management and treatment
- diversion of at least 95% of residual waste from landfill
- 400 local jobs during construction and 70 permanent skilled and semi-skilled once operational
- an onsite visitor and education centre for use by schools and the wider community
Construction of the facility is now expected to begin in December 2014 and take approximately 36 months to complete. It will become fully operational during 2018.
The project has been funded with competitively sourced finance from international project finance banks as well as equity investment from AmeyCespa, Equitix and Aberdeen UK Infrastructure Partners (a fund managed by Aberdeen Asset Management).
Royal Brackla Whisky Distillery Improves Sustainability
The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has today announced that the Royal Brackla Distillery in Nairn is the latest Scottish distillery to benefit from funding to improve its energy efficiency.
The project will finance the installation of a biomass boiler to replace the existing, heavy fuel oil boilers. This will reduce the distillery’s energy costs and its greenhouse gas emissions, without requiring any up-front capital investment from the distillery.
The boilers will be used to produce steam, necessary for several parts of the whisky production process.
The project is expected to save the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as taking 2,265 cars off the road. As well as saving greenhouse gas emissions by switching from oil to biomass, the biomass boiler is anticipated to be 50% more energy efficient than the current oil-fired boilers.
Royal Brackla, run by John Dewar & Sons Ltd. - one of the most respected names in the world of Scotch whisky - was founded on the outskirts of Nairn in 1812. It was the first distillery to receive the Royal Warrant and has been since lauded as “The King’s Own Whisky.” It was also one of the first malt whiskies used in producing blended whisky. As announced in September, the Royal Brackla distillery will also soon introduce three never-before-released single malts in March 2015 -- 12-year-old, 16-year-old and 21-year-old ROYAL BRACKLA® expressions. Since 1998, the distillery has been owned by Bacardi.
Iain Lochhead, Operations Director of John Dewar & Sons Royal Brackla distillery, said:
“The installation of the biomass boiler will mark a significant change in the environmental performance of the distillery as we are expecting an annual target reduction of some 5,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. This goes hand-in-hand with our Company’s larger “Good Spirited” goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally by 50% by 2017. By a happy coincidence it also marks the return of Royal Brackla as a single malt with a range of expressions being released early next year. So all in all, 2015 promises to be an exciting year for the Royal Brackla distillery.”
Earlier this year, GIB announced that it had made £5m available to fund energy efficiency projects at a number Scottish distilleries, via its fund manager Equitix. Half of this will come from GIB, with matched funding from private capital through the Equitix managed Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund. The project at Royal Brackla Distillery will be financed from this tranche of funding.
The Dewar’s Aberfeldy distillery in Perthshire, Balmenach distillery in Speyside and Tomatin distillery near Inverness have already taken advantage of the finance available and put in place energy efficiency measures. Tomatin distillery is on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by c. 80 per cent, and Aberfeldy distillery estimates that it will reduce its carbon footprint by up to 90 per cent.
Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Director, Equitix, said:
“We are seeing a strong and growing appetite from distilleries to convert to sustainable biomass, both due to increasing Carbon Reduction Commitments and to seek ways to reduce energy bills. Equitix are pleased to be able to provide financing for these biomass boiler solutions through our managed funds.
“We will continue to work with our partners to deliver these projects to our whisky distillery clients.”
High 5 for Hub South West!
Today North Ayrshire Council accepted the keys from the Equitix led hubSW Team to the new £4.6 million Montrose House residential care home and resource centre located in Brodick on the Isle of Arran. This project, delivered by construction partner Kier Construction Limited, involved the construction of a 30 bed residential care home, sensory landscaped gardens and a community resource centre with associated car parking. The project has been a success both in terms of the built environment where hubSW has demonstrated an ability to successfully deliver on an island setting and in regards to hubSW achieving its KPIs with over 80% of works packages being given to companies based in the South West territory and over 110 events run for local organisations. The project also saw the employment of two graduates and two apprentices along with strong links formed with the supply chain as to develop their workforce. This represents the 5th successful project delivered on time and on budget continuing hubSW’s 100% record.
The project is part of hubSW’s wider project pipeline valued at £500 million. To date hubSW has handed over projects totaling £12 million with an additional £80 million under construction. Additionally hubSW are currently developing projects totaling £250 million with a further £160 million at the pre-development stage.
Equitix Selected as Preferred Bidder for North West Priority Schools Building Programme
Morgan Sindall Investments Limited and Equitix Limited have been provisionally appointed by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) as its selected bidder for the PF2 North West, Priority Schools Building Programme batch.
The construction programme will provide five secondary and seven primary schools which will benefit of 8,150 pupils and create 124 nursery places. Morgan Sindall Plc, sister company to Morgan Sindall Investments Limited will be responsible for the design and construction, with Integral UK Limited providing the maintenance and lifecycle over a 25 year period. The project has a capital value of between £80m and £120m.
The schools that are benefiting from this programme are located in Blacon, Wigan, Neston, Preston, Blackpool, Birkenhead, Halton, Stockport and Manchester and are due to be completed in September 2017.
Nick Parker, Chief Operating Officer, Equitix Limited comments: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to invest in the Priority Schools Building Programme. This demonstrates our commitment to working within the education sector in the UK, creating new and improved schools for 8,150 pupils”.
University announces Preferred Bidder for Pittville regeneration project
The University of Gloucestershire has announced that Uliving is the preferred bidder and development partner for the student village project on the University's Pittville campus in Cheltenham.
The preferred bidder is a partnership Uliving specifically set up to support universities with accommodation projects. They are the fifth-largest student accommodation provider in the UK and recent projects include Hertfordshire and Essex universities. The Uliving @ Gloucestershire consortium is made up of major developer Bouygues Development, housing provider Derwent Living and infrastructure projects investor Equitix.
The Pittville campus was closed as a teaching facility in 2011. The student residences on the site have continued to house over 200 students. The proposed development will include the refurbishment of the existing residences as well as an additional set of town houses and communal flats, together with catering and social facilities for students.
Vice-Chancellor Stephen Marston said: "The University of Gloucestershire is committed to providing excellent accommodation for our students. It is an important component of the wider experience we want to offer our students. This new student village at Pittville will transform the quality and range of accommodation we can offer, giving more of our students the benefit of living in a great location, able to enjoy all of the facilities for which Cheltenham is renowned. It will mean all of our first year students will have the opportunity to live in accommodation which is owned or managed by the University. The Pittville development will also be significant for the community, addressing a long-overdue need to redevelop and up-date the site. We are committed to working closely with local residents, the Borough Council and the community to ensure they are consulted and involved as we work through to the creation of our new student village. We want it to be an open, attractive and welcoming environment which is a pleasure to live in and to visit.
"This exciting development is part of the University's wider estates strategy with a commitment to providing the very best student experience. A key element in the University's decision making process was the selection of a partner with an excellent track record in developing high quality and well-managed student accommodation. We are very pleased to have found an excellent partner in Uliving. "
Uliving Develops high quality on campus student accommodation through integrated design, build, finance and operate contracts with British Universities. The Uliving@Gloucestershire consortium is made up of major developer Bouygues Development, housing association Derwent Living and infrastructure projects investor Equitix.
Uliving's partners are already managing a portfolio of 10,000 units and are focused on enhancing the student experience and generating value for the universities they work with.
About the University of Gloucestershire
The University of Gloucestershire is a diverse, vibrant community of 9,000 undergraduate students, 1,000 postgraduate students, 40,000 alumni and 1,000 staff.
The University is based across three campuses in Cheltenham and Gloucester. Organised over ten academic Schools - Accounting and Law; Art and Design; Business and Management; Computing and Technology; Humanities; Media; Natural and Social Sciences; Leisure; Sports and Exercise; and Education and Public Services - the University has long excelled in education, media, sport and fine art.
Topping Out Ceremony at University of Salford
Equitix has celebrated the completion of structural building work at its new student halls at the University of Salford with a topping out ceremony at the site on the University's main Peel Park campus. Equitix Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Jackson, attended the ceremony at the 1,367 room accommodation which is progressing on time and on budget.
Equitix is undertaking the project as part of a consortium that includes Graham Investment Projects, Campus Living and Kier Project Investments, who are investing in and jointly developing the property.
Graham Construction works commenced on site in November 2013 and Campus Living Villages will manage the accommodation and welcome its first residents for the academic year 2015/16.
The new accommodation is designed to provide sustainable student living with a BREEAM excellent rating, alongside the best in student community living with generous reception area, social spaces - including TV and games room, gym, group study lounges, demonstration and private dining kitchen, launderette and a cinema room.
Equitix's Chief Executive Officer Geoff Jackson said, "We are pleased with the progress made on site with the completion of the construction works at the University of Salford. The programs to regenerate the living accommodation for students is integral to the equilibrium of life and education at the University. Equitix are working alongside our partners to deliver this project that will benefit generations to come."
Hub North Scotland closed Alford Community Campus
Hub North Scotland, comprising Alba Community Partnerships, the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) and 17 northern territory public sector partners has reached financial close on the Alford Community Campus PPP.
Aviva has provided a term loan to fund around 90% of the project costs with the hub shareholders funding the remaining 10% via subordinated debt. Equitix is partnered with Miller as the private sector partners in Hub North.
The Alford Community Campus comprises the 25-year DBFM of nursery, primary and secondary education facilities for almost 1000 pupils, with integrated community facilities including a library, swimming pool, indoor and outdoor sports and parking.
The development is expected to be complete in time for the new school term in August 2015.
Equitix acquires 100% of Henderson PFI Secondary Fund L.P.'s Share of two UK Secondary Market Assets
The two assets encompass a purpose-built local hospital in Bishop Auckland, Northumberland together with a specialist wastewater plant built adjacent to the River Clyde within the outer suburbs of Glasgow, Scotland.
Bishop Auckland Hospital PFI comprises of a single local community unit that is located within the market town of Bishop Auckland, situated approximately 20km south west of Durham within County Durham. The hospital is a center of excellence in low-risk hip and knee replacement operations and provides planned care for a population of approximately 120,000.
Dalmuir Waste Water Treatment Plant PFI is approximately 10 miles west of Glasgow and is situated on the banks of the River Clyde, serving a population equivalent of around 595,000.
The Bishop Auckland PFI has a 30-year concession ending in 2032, whereas the Dalmuir Waste Water PFI is set to expire in 2027.
All the project facilities have been fully operational since 2002.
Equitix Close North Tyne Extra Care
The Equitix led Consortium ‘Solutions 4 North Tyneside’ comprising equity partners Equitix and Miller Construction, have signed and priced the project today and expect to reach Financial Close on Wednesday 26th March. The project is the development of 924 ‘Quality Homes for Older People’ (including Extra Care) across the North Tyneside area. The project is being financed by an Assured Guaranty wrapped bond.
Miller Construction will be responsible for the construction of the new build infrastructure works and refurbishment works to existing properties. The 924 units are spread between 26 schemes, 10 of which will be new build sites and 16 refurbishment sites. The initiative will be a major construction project for the region, creating up to 500 jobs.
As well as the design and construction of the schemes, the contract involves the management of the facilities for the 28 year duration of the project. Facilities Management for the project will be provided by Lovell Partnerships.
Significant Progress made on site at Endana Secondary School, Kenya
Equitix continues to support Endana Secondary School in Kenya through the annual charity drinks evening with cosponsors Deloitte, Evercore and CMS. Funds raised to date have gone towards building and equipping a science laboratory and we are now funding the building of a girls’ ablution block to help improve sanitation and the health and safety of the children in their learning environment. School enrolment is expanding and the construction of a new girls’ dormitory as well as a canteen is also underway. The girls’ dormitory at Endana is 90% complete. By supporting infrastructural development in local schools, Ol Pejeta Conservancy hopes to promote the appreciation of the value for wildlife conservation amongst local communities thereby creating a critical mass of local pro-wildlife stakeholders necessary for conservation to take place.
As ever we are proud to be supporting Ol Pejeta and Endana Secondary School.
UK Green Investment Bank and Equitix announce energy efficiency deal with make Bernard Matthews
The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and Equitix have today announced a £24.5m investment to finance the installation of renewable energy boilers at Bernard Matthews’ turkey farms.
The project, the largest of its kind, will see c.179 new biomass boilers installed across 21 farms in Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire, meaning that 40% of Bernard Matthews’ estate will benefit from the new renewable energy technology.
Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive, UK Green Investment Bank, said:
‘Across the UK, GIB, are starting to see some excellent examples, from farsighted companies, of the commercial benefits that come from investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. These benefits can be significant, especially for energy intensive industries, including many parts of the farming industry. Bernard Matthews have placed sustainability at the heart of their business and we are pleased to be able to support them in their ambition to generate 100% of their energy sustainably.’
In addition to reducing costs, the new boilers will have a significant green impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the dry heat biomass systems produce a number of benefits due to the improved circulation of heat, including reduced ammonia levels, reduced ventilation requirements, and increased litter (bedding) quality.
The project will create c.51 jobs in the local area, including nine full time permanent positions.
The Equitix managed fund, Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which GIB is the cornerstone investor, is investing £12m in the project. This mobilises an additional £12.5m of additional private sector capital, from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF).
Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Equitix, said:
“We are pleased to be investing further GIB capital into a project that not only benefits Bernard Matthews, by reducing their costs, but also benefits the environment. We have a strong pipeline of opportunities to deploy GIB funds into future energy efficiency projects alongside additional private sector capital.”
Vince Cable, Business Secretary, said:
"We set up the UK Green Investment Bank to kick start investment in renewable energy technology like this. Bernard Matthews has seen that energy efficiency makes good business sense and I am confident that more companies will follow.
"Today’s investment will have a significant green impact by reducing carbon emissions and benefits local economies by creating green jobs across three counties."
Greater Gabbard OFTO wins European Transmission Deal of the Year 2013
At the Project Finance Deals of the Year 2013 held earlier this month, Greater Gabbard OFTO was selected as the European Transmission Deal of the Year.
Financial close was achieved by the consortium comprising Equitix, Balfour Beatty and AMP Capital in November 2013 for the Greater Gabbard OFTO. It is the first OFTO to be financed through a Public listed bond and is the first OFTO to utilise an EIB Project Bond Credit Enhancement (PBCE) product.
Equitix Acquires 50% of Private Sector Share in Hub North Scotland
Equitix have formed a joint venture with Sweett Group to acquire their 50% share of the private sector shareholding in Hub North Scotland.
Hub North Scotland constitutes one of five Hub projects being procured and developed by the Scottish Futures Trust and the framework encompasses Grampian, the Highlands, Northern Isles and Western Isles territories. The projects will typically consist of local authority education, healthcare and community infrastructure projects and FC has been achieved on the first two projects: Aberdeen Community Health Care Village and Frederick Street Car Park. A further pipeline of projects has been identified for future development through the Hub, with the third project (Alford) due to reach Financial Close imminently.
Hard FM on the revenue funded projects will be provided by Hub for 25 years following construction completion
Hugh Crossley, Chief Investment Officer of Equitix commented that “This is good news and adds to Equitix’s already significant commitment to Scotland; building on our existing projects which include North Lanarkshire Schools, Inverclyde Schools, Inverness College and Hub South West.
We are very pleased to extend our involvement in the Hub programme and look forward to supporting the work of Sweett and Miller, and building on our relationship with the Scottish Futures Trust and the local communities.”
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