On 25 April 2018, ARCOS (VINCI group) signed the agreements for financing the concession for the Strasbourg western bypass highway, also known as the A355.
The A355 is a two-lane motorway covering 24 kilometres, which will facilitate long-distance transit by avoiding systematic passage through Strasbourg. This new road will supplement the existing network, improve road safety, and reduce traffic congestion on the A35.
The concession contract was entered into on 29 January 2016 by ARCOS and the French Ministry in charge of transports, for a period of 54 years.
Financing is granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and a pool of commercial banks comprising AUXIFIP, Banca IMI (Intesa Sanpaolo Group), Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Alsace Vosges, CaixaBank, Československá obchodni banka and KBC Bank. CACIB acts as agent.
The senior loans granted by the EIB and the commercial banks amount to a total of 359 million euros. The financing also includes a Senior Debt Credit Enhancement (SDCE) loan.
This SDCE loan is a new instrument developed by EIB that aims to enhance senior loans via a junior loan drawn during the operation phase. The A355 project not only helped develop this new instrument, but also allowed its implementation for the first time in France.
Gide advised ARCOS and the VINCI Group with a team comprising partners Thomas Courtel, Eric Cartier-Millon and Marie Bouvet-Guiramand, with counsels Farah El-Bsat and Laurent Vincent and associates Othman Belouiz and Louis Ravaud.
White & Case advised the financing parties.
Linklaters advised EIB.