Response to consultation on terms of public sector equity participation in PF2 projects

This document describes Allen & Overy’s response, dated 21 August 2013, to the HM Treasury and Infrastructure UK open consultation entitled A new approach to public private partnerships: consultation on the terms of public sector equity participation in PF2 projects, dated 10 July 2013.

It is clear from the content of the consultation that it has twin aims: first, of improving competition among equity investors by widening the pool of potential participants; and second, of creating greater transparency.

Our view on the first aim is that HM Treasury’s and Infrastructure UK’s proposals are a calculated gamble that the new structure for equity will encourage more new investors (particularly those that were previously deterred by high bid costs and the need for significant resource) than it will discourage existing/traditional public-private-partnership (PPP) participants (many of whom are now, in any event, pursuing other markets in preference to the UK). On the second aim, there is a need to balance the attempt to influence a financial structure with wider (much wider than PPP/PF2) ongoing policy debates on transparency of ownership and the morality of tax-efficient structures…

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