South Africa’s leading firms are well positioned to cash in on an expected increase in project work in the country, following the commercial completion of a $3.3bn (£1.77bn) Gautrain rapid rail link public-private partnership (PPP).
Webber Wentzel Bowens advised the Bombela consortium, which includes construction companies Bombardier and Bouygues Travaux Publics, as preferred bidder on the Gautrain project, the world’s second-largest rail PPP project.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer worked with South African firm Bowman Gilfillan to advise the Standard Bank of South Africa and Rand Merchant Bank as co-arrangers of the commercial debt-funding package.
Freshfields partner Bobby Stewart said South Africa has so far failed to mature as a PPP market, but that it is now showing signs of further development.
“Given the amount of enthusiasm, it has been a fairly disappointing deal flow over the past six or seven years,” Stewart said. “There are signs, however, that it is picking up.”