Lovells lands waste PFI for Veolia

Lovells has advised Veolia Environmental Services on a 27-year waste PFI deal, having been appointed to the company’s panel earlier this year.

Veolia won preferred bidder status for the Shropshire project in August and the deal closed just six weeks later. According to projects partner Jason Radford this was a speedy completion in the context of PFI, where comparable deals normally take about six months.

“Part of the reason for the quick turnaround is that Veolia finances projects corporately, so they don’t involve senior debt and there are less parties to come to an agreement,” explained Radford, who led the Lovells team together with senior projects associate Scott Tindall.

Radford added that the contract is unusual in that it integrates both waste collection and disposal elements. Shropshire Waste Partnership has obtained £40.8m PF credits towards the cost of the contract.

Shropshire Waste Partnership, which comprises of several councils in the Shropshire area, was advised by Wragges, headed by PFI and infrastructure partner Stephen Kenny.

Wragges has acted for Shropshire County Council for the last three years. Helen Powell led the in-house team at Shropshire County Council, while Robert Hunt was in charge of the internal legal team at Veolia.

Lovells was appointed to Veolia’s panel in February this year following a number of instructions from the firm, including waste and corporate work. Notable transactions that Lovells has closed for the company include the disposal of its 25 per cent interest in Southern Water and the acquisition of Cleanaway Holdings for £595m in July.

It is currently advising the company on the Cheshire waste PFI, which is at the bidding stage.