Baldragon Academy hub Project
QMPF advised hub East Central Baldragon (“DBFMco”) on the Baldragon Academy hub project, the third Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFM) project signed by the territory. The SPV consists of Amber Blue (a consortium of Robertson Capital Projects, Amber Infrastructure Limited and Forth Holdings Limited), Scottish Futures Trust, Dundee City Council and HCF Investments. The new secondary school is the second new school project hub East Central is delivering in Dundee with the design and build of Harris Academy due for hand-over in April 16 . Baldragon Academy will serve approximately 1,100 pupils and incorporates sports facilities including a swimming pool. Work began on site prior to financial close with the new facilities due to open in December 2017. The senior funding of c.£29m is being provided by Aviva Commercial Finance with subordinated debt from DBFMco of c. £3m. This is the first East Central hub DBFM project to close following the delay caused by the new ESA10 rules which required an adjustment to the original hub deal structure to ensure that the project will be classified as private sector, and consequently not included as on balance sheet for the Scottish Government. From a funding perspective, this resulted in Dundee City Council and SFT’s combined investment in the project reducing from 40% of subordinated debt to 20% of subordinated debt with the balancing 20% funding provided by HCF Investments, a charity incorporated specifically to invest across all hub territories. The remaining subordinated debt was shared between the private sector investors: Robertson Capital Projects (25%), Amber Infrastructure (25%) and Forth Holdings (10%).
QMPF provided financial advice to the consortium, with CMS Cameron McKenna providing legal advice. Our role included creation of financial models for the Stage 1 affordability analysis and subsequent Stage 2 submission required by all Scottish Government revenue funded projects. Following Stage 2 approval, we continued to develop the financial model to reflect changes in inflation and timings until financial close. QMPF also assisted CMS with the review and negotiation of the project documents and liaised directly with the model audit provider and Aviva Commercial Finance.
Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive of hub East Central said: “We are delighted to have reached financial close on our third DBFM project with QMPF as financial adviser. They provided proactive and commercially sound advice throughout the development of the project, including particularly valuable analysis as the prescribed solution to the ESA10 issues emerged. Once again their expertise helped DBFMco achieve a smooth and successful financial close.”
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