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Three’s company on $2 billion light rail deal
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Three’s company on $2 billion light rail deal

Lee McDonald Ashurst

Ashurst, Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Norton Rose Fulbright have secured the contract for the new CBD and South East Light Rail in Sydney.

Firms: Ashurst (Transport for NSW); Corrs Chambers Westgarth (ALTRAC consortium); Norton Rose Fulbright (project financiers).

Deal: Sydney Light Rail: CBD and South East Light Rail project (CSELR).

Deal description: Transport for NSW sought to contract its preferred bidder, the ALTRAC consortium, to design, construct, operate and maintain the new Sydney CSELR line that will run from Circular Quay along George Street to Moore Park, then on to Kingsford and Randwick.

Value: $2.1 billion

Key players: Lee McDonald (pictured) was the lead partner for the Ashurst team, which advised Transport for NSW on its contract with the ALTRAC consortium. Ashurst partners Harvey Weaver, Gareth Sage and Murray Wheater also acted on the deal.

Corrs acted for the ALTRAC consortium, consisting of Alstom, Transdev, Acciona and Capella Capital.

Norton Rose Fulbright acted for the financiers – Banco Santander, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Agricole CIB Australia, The Bank of Nova Scotia Asia and United Overseas Bank – for ALTRAC’s successful bid for the project.

Deal significance: The Sydney Light Rail Project will be delivered as a public–private partnership involving the finance, design, construction, testing and commissioning of a new light rail line between the CBD and south-east Sydney, and the operation and maintenance of the Sydney Light Rail network, which includes the new CBD and south-east Sydney light rail and existing inner-west light rail.

According to the NSW government, the CSELR is a priority project that will deliver over $4 billion worth of economic benefits and create 10,000 jobs.

The contract for the project reached financial close on February 25.

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