Whitehelm acquires Singapore college PPP

01 October 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Whitehelm Capital announced today it had acquired the PPP concession for vocational education provider ITE College West in Singapore from Gammon Investments. 


The investment was made on behalf of Australian superannuation funds MTAA Super and Prime Super, Whitehelm said. 


Saji Anantakrishnan, Whitehelm’s Sydney-based head of Australia and Asia confirmed financial close was reached overnight on 30 September but would not comment further on the details of the transaction.


“The successful acquisition of ITE College West demonstrates our ability to source, execute and close competitive transactions in Asia,” Anantakrishnan said in a statement.


“Whitehelm continues to seek high quality, operating, core infrastructure projects in the region. This investment in Singapore demonstrates Whitehelm’s disciplined approach and commitment to growing its footprint in Asia.”


ITE College West PPP was the first education project in Asia to feature an availability-based payment. It has a 27-year concession expiring in 2035. At financial close in 2008 it had total equity of about SGD 11m and debt of SGD 330m, with a tenor of 26.5 years.


The original lenders to the project were Belfius, DZ Bank, HSBC, MUFG and SMBC, according to Inframation Deals. It is not known whether this debt is still current.


ITE College West offers 42 courses in business, electronics, information and communications technology, engineering and hospitality and has about 7,700 students and 710 staff.


Gammon Investments is a joint venture of Balfour Beatty Plc and Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd.


Whitehelm also has equity investments in other PPPs, including Peninsula Link motorway in Victoria. It and AMP Capital manage investments in this road on behalf of Commonwealth Bank Group Super, Prime Super and State Super SAS Trustee Corp.


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