Berkshire healthcare nhs trust

This scheme to build a new hospital at Prospect Park in Reading is one of the first PFI transactions to close using the NHS standard form contract, and the second on which Clifford Chance has acted. It follows hot on the heels of the £35m Hexham Hospital deal, in which Clifford Chance advised the project company, Catalyst.

The firm switched roles in the West Berkshire scheme. David Metzger and David Bickerton’s team advised BNP Paribas which represented senior funders Prudential Trustee Company. The project is being financed by means of a privately-placed bond of approximately £26m.

While the transaction was not untouched by the complexities and delays typical of much larger PFI schemes, the final deal documents will enable the consortium members to enjoy a more efficient contracting process in future using the standard form.

The growing standardisation of the main concession contract has sounded a warning bell for magic circle advisers such as Clifford Chance, but the firm’s PFI team is keen to seize the opportunity for greater deal flow and efficiency.