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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Amber Infrastructure on its successful tender for a A$291 million Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Victorian Government to build 15 new schools.

Amber Infrastructure is the sponsor in the Learning Communities Victoria consortium which was selected to finance, design, build and then maintain the schools for 25 years. Other members of the consortium include architect ClarkeHopkinsClarke, builder Watpac, facilities manager Spotless and community partners YMCA and CERES.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partners Alan Rosengarten and Erin Wakelin, supported by the firm’s Projects Delivery and Project Finance teams including Amelia Fleming and Nile Rodman.

“We are delighted to act for Amber Infrastructure as a member of the winning consortium and play a role in helping these 15 schools come to fruition,” Alan said.

The schools will be built in some of Victoria’s fastest growing areas and designed to cater for their communities, with a range of facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, meeting places and childcare facilities also available to local families. The schools will also be designed to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities and additional needs.

The deal strengthened Herbert Smith Freehills' already outstanding PPP expertise.

“Across the globe and here in Australia, we are providing clients with exceptional service on a range of PPPs and other infrastructure projects, with projects in Australia including airports, roads, ports, hospitals, universities and prisons,” Erin said.

“In Australia Herbert Smith Freehills is leading the way when it comes to the financing of PPPs - earlier this year we advised on the first Australian PPP to be successfully repriced while still in the construction phase. This was in relation to a A$1.4 billion repricing of the Sydney International Convention Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct (SICEEP) PPP, which was followed by the repricing of three other PPPs still in construction.”

Financing for the 15 new schools was provided to the consortium by Natixis and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Other firms involved in the deal include King & Wood Mallesons for the financiers, Minter Ellison Lawyers for Spotless, Piper Alderman for Watpac and Moores and HWL Ebsworth for YMCA.

Key contacts

Erin Wakelin photo

Erin Wakelin

Partner, Sydney

Erin Wakelin