White & Case has advised the Slovak Republic on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) project for the design, construction, finance, operation, and maintenance of the country’s D4 Highway and the R7 Expressway. Freshfields and PRK Partners advised Zero Bypass Limited — the consortium consisting of Cintra Infraestructuras Internacional S.L.U., Macquarie Corporate Holdings Pty Limited, and Porr AG — on its successful bid. The concession agreement was signed on May 20, 2016.
The project involves the construction of the south-eastern section of Bratislava’s ring road and part of the southern expressway network that links Eastern and Western Slovakia, as well as the maintenance of these roads for a period of 30 years. The total value of the concession is in excess of EUR 1.7 billion, making it one of the largest PPP projects in Europe in 2016.
White & Case advised the Slovak Republic on all aspects of what it describes as "the complex, competitive public procurement process.” The firm reports that the process generated significant interest in the market, "with tenders submitted by nine major global construction/financial consortia, four of which were shortlisted." Due to technical and financial optimizations in the procurement process and strong competition among the shortlisted consortia, the winning bid was significantly lower than original estimates.
“The D4 Highway and R7 Expressway is the one of the largest road infrastructure development projects in the history of the Slovak Republic,” said Bratislava-based White & Case Partner Marek Staron, who co-led the firm’s deal team with London-based Partner Caroline Miller Smith. “White & Case established the qualification and selection criteria, drafted the procurement documentation and concession agreement, structured and led negotiations with the bidders, assisted with the relevant financing documentation and provided advice on various legal aspects of the land acquisition process, construction and zoning permits, environmental and other regulatory issues."
In addition to Staron and Smith, the team consisted of Bratislava-based Associates Peter Hodal and Kristína Klenova and London-based Associates Deji Adegoke and Helen Steininger.
The PRK Partners team was led by Partner Miriam Galandova.
Editor's Note: After this article was published, Freshfields informed CEE Legal Matters that its London-based team consisted of Partners Nick Bliss, Senior Associate Ronen Lazarovitch, and Associates Chris Wallace, Shanine Felix, and James Chapman. Partner Alex Carver has now taken over as Lead Partner, following Bliss's recent retirement.
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