Groupe BPCE, Natixis and the Caisses d’Epargne banks co-finance the Nîmes-Montpellier high-speed rail by-pass
The Oc’Via consortium signed a PPP contract with Réseau Ferré de France on June 28, 2012 which provides the consortium to finance, design, build, operate and maintain a new high-speed rail by-pass between the southern French cities of Nîmes and Montpellier.
This new 80km stretch will carry freight and passengers and is consistent with the objectives enshrined in France’s Grenelle de l’Environnement environmental policy. Once open in 2017, it connects Paris to Montpellier in less than three hours and extends France’s Mediterranean high-speed line towards Spain. This public private partnership contract is worth €1.5 billion.
The Oc’Via consortium regroups the following shareholders: Bouygues Construction, Colas, Alstom Transport, Spie Batignolles, Méridiam Infrastructure and FIDEPPP*, an investment fund fully owned by Groupe BPCE and managed by NEI**.
Groupe BPCE has supported the consortium right from the first stages of the contract tendering process, as the FIDEPPP fund’s core shareholder and as Financial Advisor via Natixis’ Global Infrastructure & Projects team. Following several months of work, Groupe BPCE set up the financing for the project by associating 11 banks and two public institutions (the European Investment Bank and Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations’ Fonds d’Epargne).
Natixis acted as Mandated Lead Arranger for the financing, Documentation Bank, Facility Agent, and Pre-Hedging and Hedging Bank.
In addition to participating in the financing, the Caisse d’Epargne Languedoc-Roussillon will act as Account Bank jointly with Natixis.
This successful award reasserts Natixis’ leading position in the infrastructure-finance advisory and structuring fields and underscores Groupe BPCE’s commitment to local and regional development.
*a fund for investing in and developing public-private partnerships and whose investors are the Caisses d’Epargne banks,
Natixis and Crédit Foncier de France
**Natixis Environnement & Infrastructures
Groupe BPCE, the 2nd-largest banking group in France, includes two independent and complementary commercial banking networks: the network of 19 Banque Populaire banks and the network of 17 Caisses d'Epargne. It also works through Crédit Foncier de France in the area of real estate financing. It is a major player in corporate & investment banking, asset management and financial services with Natixis. Groupe BPCE serves more than 36 million customers and enjoys a strong presence in France with 8,000 branches, 117,000 employees and more than 8.1 million cooperative shareholders.