Regional of Waterloo enters into PPP agreement for LRT project

On May 6, 2014, The Regional Municipality of Waterloo entered into a Public Private Partnership Agreement with a private sector consortium to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Region's ION™ Stage 1 light rail transit (LRT) system, running 19 km between Kitchener and Waterloo, Ontario.

The project calls for a capital investment of $818M, with capital funding provided by the Province of Ontario ($300M), the federal government ($265M) and the Region ($253M). Annual operations and maintenance costs are estimated to be $45M per year commencing in 2018. The concession provided under the Project Agreement is for a 30 year term, making for a total project investment of roughly $2B. Financial close was achieved on May 9, 2014.

The private partner, GrandLinq GP, is a consortium comprised of Plenary Group, Meridiam Infrastructure, Aecon Construction, Kiewit and Keolis. GrandLinq GP financing includes a short-term bank loan (provided by Alberta Treasury Branches) and a long-term bond issue with CIBC World Markets Inc. acting as underwriter.

Norton Rose Fulbright advised The Regional Municipality of Waterloo with a team comprised of Roger Watkiss (Toronto), Sandra Nissan (Toronto), Geoffrey Gilbert (Ottawa), Andrew Buisson (London), Andrew Pritchard (Ottawa), John Naccarato (Ottawa), Madeleine Donahue (Toronto), Karen Galpern (Toronto), Matthew Bernardo (Toronto) and Ken Jennings (Ottawa).