Isn’t it great when a plan comes together? After almost a decade of hard work, a raft of firms has finally managed to reach financial close on the Mersey Gateway Project – solidifying plans for a shiny new toll bridge linking Runcorn and Widnes.
Not only is the build likely to become the country’s first toll road to adopt Open Road Tolling – imagine London’s Congestion Charge, but on a bridge, and in the North West. It also needed to take a novel approach to insurance due to the contamination risk in the area.
Last but not least, the project marks the UK’s first-ever public bond issuance to benefit from the UK Guarantees Scheme, designed to kickstart crucial infrastructure projects.
The Mersey Gateway effort was not the only piece of fancy financing footwork to emerge today. On the other side of the globe, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has invested $692m in Hong-Kong listed Intime Retail, with Slaughter and May, Fangda Partners and Davis Polk scoring advisory roles.
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- Clifford Chance and Freshfields won lead roles on Singapore investor Temasek’s purchase of a 24.9 per cent stake in Hong Kong retailer AS Watson for $5.7bn
- China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has instructed Slaughter and May for its latest strategic investment in Chinese department store operator Intime Retail, which turned to Davis Polk & Wardwell for advice
- White & Case offered Linklaters’ private equity associates as much as £40,000 in ‘golden hellos’ to join partners Richard Youle and Ian Bagshaw when they quit the magic circle firm