Dentons aids Babcock on limited partner PFI

Denton Wilde Sapte has advised Babcock & Brown on a rare PFI scheme with a limited partnership structure.
Launched by the Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, the £70m deal is the second schools PFI that Dentons and Babcock have closed in the space of a month; it follows hard on the heels of the smaller Derbyshire schools PFI, which Dentons and Babcock worked on together last month.
Dentons’ head of project finance Howard Barrie led a team that advised on an innovative new funding structure, which involved a limited partnership structure, venture capital and debt funding.
Traditionally, project finance deals use a project company, which is a special purpose vehicle registered at Companies House. In this deal, instead of the project company being a company, it was a limited partnership formed by Babcock & Brown.
As well as limiting the liability of the investors, the limited partnership structure is tax efficient for the sponsor and the equity providers.
Debt was provided by Sumitomo Bank, which was advised by a Norton Rose team led by Martin McCann. Nabarro Nathanson won a tender in 2001 to advise the Metropolitan Borough Council on the project; partner Tim Shaw led. Eversheds advised the governing bodies.