20 Feb 2020
TOOWOOMBA, QUEENSLAND: Plenary has completed a $400 million refinancing of the Toowoomba Bypass public-private partnership.
The deal comprises a single, five-year debt tranche to fully refinance the existing debt, with leading domestic banks ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac participating.
Plenary Head of Origination Paul Crowe said achieving the refinancing only five months after the road fully opened to traffic demonstrated the confidence the debt market has in the project.
“Our knowledge of this project, having been intimately involved for more than five years, has allowed us to achieve such a positive refinancing outcome within the relatively small window between project completion and the maturation of the existing debt. This great result highlights the value we add to major infrastructure projects as an investor and financial arranger,” Mr Crowe said.
The $1.6 billion project, formerly known as the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, is a 41-kilometre bypass that runs to the north of Toowoomba from the Warrego Highway to the Gore Highway via Charlton.
The first section of the bypass opened in December 2018 and it was fully opened to traffic in September 2019.
Queensland’s highest-priority road project has reduced travel time across the Toowoomba range by up to 40 minutes.
It is also playing a key role in accelerating local businesses, estimated to increase economic activity in the region by $2.4 billion over the next 30 years.
Plenary was financial adviser and is an equity investor in the project, part of the Nexus consortium – also comprising Acciona, Cintra and Broadspectrum – contracted by the Queensland Government to design, build, finance, and maintain the project for 25 years.
The refinancing adds to Plenary’s capability as financial arranger in the Australian infrastructure sector that also includes the $200 million refinance of the Queensland Schools PPP, the $230 million refinance of the AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience PPP and the $646 million refinance of the Peninsula Link PPP.