Ashurst has won the instruction to help a 12-strong banking consortium reach financial close on the R1 Expressway, Slovakia’s first-ever road PPP project.
The firm has been briefed by a consortium that includes the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and commercial entities on a deal to finance the 30-year e1bn (£850m) project.
One source said: “The challenge in the current market is that no banks are stepping up to lead, so it takes longer to close because more entities have to get through the hoops.”
Partners Jason Radford in commercial and Patrick Boyle in finance are leading, assisted by senior associate Matthew Rickards.
Press reports have suggested that the Slovakian government, advised by CMS Cameron McKenna, may threaten to pull out of the project over pricing disagreements with developer Vinci and the ABN Amro private equity fund, advised by Linklaters partner Ian Andrews.