Dentons advises banks on £2.8bn highways PFI

Denton Wilde Sapte has helped a consortium of banks reach financial close on the £2.8bn Birmingham highways PFI – the largest local authority project of its kind.

The firm was retained by the sponsor Amey Ventures as lenders’ counsel prior to Amey’s appointment as ­preferred bidder last ­summer.

Dentons advised a ­consortium made up of Bank of Ireland, Dexia Group, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, Natixis and NIBC Bank, many of which were already
longstanding clients of the firm, according to lead partner and head of PFI Matthew Jones.

“[The deal] is notable for its sheer scale,” Jones said. “It covers the ­maintenance and management of the entirety of Birmingham’s highways network including [2,500km of road network], 95,000 streetlights, white lines and highway ­structures and bridges across the city.

“It’s one of a series of highways PFIs that are in procurement at the moment, including Shef­field,­ Hounslow and Isle of Wight – all of which we’ve been retained on.”

Jones worked alongside infrastructure partner and construction specialist Robert Turner and a team of associates from the ­corporate, infrastructure and TMT departments.
Wragge & Co was instructed by Amey, with PFI partner David ­Fennell acting, while DLA Piper Leeds-based projects ­partner Allison Page advised Birmingham City Council.