Arise Mauritania SA’s USD 390 Million PPP Port Project Financing

Linklaters has advised Arise Mauritania SA and two investment funds managed by Meridiam on the financing of the Nouakchott port modernisation project.

The first phase of the project, with a total cost of USD 300 million, will be funded through a USD 160 million limited recourse debt financing provided by the Africa Finance Corporation and equity contributions from the Sponsors for the remaining amounts.

Under the awarded 30-year concession, Arise Mauritania is to design, finance, build, and operate a new container and hydrocarbon terminal with an initial capacity of 250,000 TEUs, including the construction of a new wharf (14.5m depth and 570m length), a storage area for exports and imports (25 Ha) and an administrative area. Arise Mauritania will also dredge the port manoeuvring area, navigation channel and berth pocket to receive post panama size ships up to 50,000 DWT capacity.

This transaction is the first fully privately financed public private partnership project in Mauritania and one of the very few international limited recourse financings to have reached financial close in the country.

The project financing of the Nouakchott port modernisation is in line with Mauritania’s plan to further engage with the private sector for the development, within the framework of the newly adopted 2017 public private partnership law, of identified ”flagship projects” (“projets structurants”) i.e projects which, in view of the amount of investment required for their implementation and their importance for the development of the country’s economy, involve the intervention of the national PPP Interministerial Committee.

The stated purpose of the modernisation project is notably for Nouakchott to position itself as a maritime hub in the Sahel region, and will be used to supply landlocked countries such as Mali with freight and other commodities.

Arise Mauritania is a 50:50 joint-venture incorporated by Arise PCC, a pan-African infrastructure and logistics solutions company.

Meridiam is one of the leading long-term sustainable infrastructure developer, investor and asset manager.

The Linklaters team working on the transaction was led by Bertrand Andriani (Picture). The core team included Aymeric Voisin (Managing Associate, Projects), Binta Barry (Associate, Projects) Etienne Paletto (Associate, Projects) Pierre Sikorav (Managing Associate, Public law) and Léa Prince Agbodjan (Junior Associate, Projects).

Hogan Lovells acted as advisor of the Africa Finance Corporation.

Involved fees earner: Bertrand Andriani – Linklaters; Binta Barry – Linklaters; Etienne Paletto – Linklaters; Léa Prince Agbodjan – Linklaters; Pierre Sikorav – Linklaters; Aymeric Voisin – Linklaters;

Law Firms: Linklaters;

Clients: Arise Mauritania ;

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