Ashurst advises on Zayed City Schools PPP in Abu Dhabi

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    This is the UAE's first school infrastructure public-private partnership, a pioneering project that paves the way for private sector participation in the development of the country's social infrastructure.

    The project was awarded to the BESIX – Plenary consortium by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge.

    It comprises the financing, design, procurement, construction, commissioning, and operation and maintenance of three new state-of-the-art school campuses with a total capacity of 5,360 students in Zayed City, Abu Dhabi. The debt provider group comprises financial institutions HSBC, Intesa Sanpaolo and The Norinchukin Bank.

    The Ashurst team was led by partner Simon Moore, supported by partner Stuart James, counsel Grant Batten, senior associate Sumit Ram, and associates Imogen Thompson, Jacklin Molla, Chloe McWeeny and Riddhi Kumar. The financing was led by partner David Charlier with assistance from counsel Natasha Kavanagh and Douglas Fung, senior associates Claire Cornally, Hanyin Huang and Sharon Cong, and associate Myles Sim. Strategic advisory partner Cameron Cuffe, senior associate Tammam Kaissi and associates Jenny Zhang and Laura Jimenez Jaimez also provided input.

    Simon Moore commented:

    "We're delighted to reach financial close on this landmark project, which, as the first social infrastructure project to be developed under Abu Dhabi’s new PPP regulatory framework, we hope will set a precedent for future infrastructure development and investment. It's been an absolute privilege to work with Besix and Plenary Group with respect to this pathfinder PPP project and we look forward to its successful delivery."