Orrick Advises Vinci Airports on the Procurement and Financing of its 7 Airports in Cape Verde

2 minute read | July.25.2023

Orrick has advised long-standing client, Vinci Airports, on the:

  • EPC contract for the re-development and upgrade of the seven airports of Cape Verde (the “Project”); and
  • €60 million cross-border sustainability-linked non-recourse financing of the Project.

The Transaction

Yves Lepage advised long-standing client, Vinci Airports, on the negotiation of a 40-year concession for the financing, operation, maintenance, extension and modernization of the Project in August 2022. Press release here. Subsequently, Orrick was mandated to advise on the procurement and financing of the Project.

The financing is a 20-year sustainability-linked financing provided by three DFIs:  International Finance Corporation (IFC); Société De Promotion Et De Participation Pour La Coopération Économique S.A. (PROPARCO); and Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft MBH (DEG).  Securing the financing is a major milestone for the airports in Cape Verde, with VINCI Airports taking over their operation today. Pursuant to the terms of the concession, Vinci Airports will fund, operate, maintain, extend and modernise the airports of Cape Verde over the next 40 years, alongside its Portuguese subsidiary (ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal).

The Project marks Vinci’s first airport concession in Africa, in a country set for a tourism boom.  The transaction is also the first time each of IFC, Proparco and DEG have financed airports through a sustainability linked facility and is one of Vinci Airports’ first financings of this kind. As part of the financing, VINCI Airports will also implement an environmental action plan, which includes the development of renewable energy projects at the islands’ airports.

The landmark transaction solidifies VINCI Airports’ international network, which now spans 72 airports in 13 countries making Vinci the world’s number-one private operator in this sector.

The Team

The cross-border Orrick team was led by Yves Lepage, with Foucaud Jaulin overseeing the procurement, supported by Carole Schertzinger, and Adam Smith overseeing the English-law financing supported by Oliver Sikora, Taylor Brien and Joel Othen-Lawson, and Carine Mou Si Yan and Sarah Amarnath providing French-law financing support.

Yves Lepage remarked: “We are proud to have advised our longstanding client, Vinci Airports, on this landmark transaction from start to finish – from concession, through procurement and finally financial close. This demonstrates the breadth of the Orrick team’s cross-border, multi-specialist capabilities and signals that we are the “go-to” firm for complex transactions of this nature.”

Adam Smith commented: “As the first sustainability-linked loan (SLL) in the African airports sector, this financing breaks ground for all parties involved and provides a blueprint for the future.  We look forward to seeing the airports reach their full potential under Vinci Airport’s stewardship”.