AllianzGI invests €433m in Belgium motorway

The transaction, which counts Belgian fund DG Infra among its lead sponsors, includes the first greenfield project bond backed by the EIB’s credit enhancement facility.

Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) has invested €433 million in the senior debt of the Belgium’s A11 motorway development, its eighth transaction since inception.

The investment, made on behalf of clients, will fund the construction of a 12-kilometre motorway connecting the Port of Zeebrugge with the E40 and E34 roads in western Flanders. The project has qualified as one of the six major 'missing links' in the Flemish road network.

In addition to local developer Jan de Nul, the transaction counts DG Infra, the fund established by Belgian lender Belfius and private equity firm Gimv, as lead sponsor.

It is the first Belgian public-private partnership (PPP) to be wholly financed by a project bond, and the first greenfield project to be backed by the European Investment Bank’s Project Bond Credit Enhancement facility. The bond has a maturity of 31.5 years.

Financing is fully committed by Allianz Global Investors and the European Investment Bank at the beginning of the project. In another innovative development for a project bond, however, the funds will only be drawn over time during the construction phase.

The transaction brings the amount invested in infrastructure debt by AllianzGI, which established a dedicated team in September 2012, to more than €2 billion.