Private money is expected to play a significant part in financing Nordic infrastructure in the short and medium term. With the right know-how, it’s possible to complete both public-to-private and other construction projects ahead of schedule with acceptable risks. Infrastructure owners, such as the large energy companies, need to make huge investments going forward, and private capital from, for example, infrastructure funds and other players is in high demand.
The private financing of infrastructure projects has yet to take off in a big way in the Nordic countries. But that is likely to change. With pressure on expenditures for healthcare and education, and with significant investment required in existing infrastructure, public-private partnerships seem set to stay on the political agenda.
The key to successful public-to-private projects lies in understanding the different risks faced by each party and constructing a contract architecture secure enough to satisfy them all. This requires experience that, as of yet, few Nordic law firms can lay claim to. One of them is Roschier.
There have been a few big infrastructure projects in the region, such as highway projects – most notably the Muurla-Lohjanharju E18 project, completed a year ahead of schedule in 2008, and continued eastbound with contracts for E18 Koskenkylä-Kotka signed in 2011. Roschier was involved in both projects, picking up valuable experience and playing a key role in moving things along quickly. In the Muurla-Lohjanharju E18 project, it wasn’t just the construction that was completed ahead of schedule; the negotiation phase was, by all international standards, finalized in record time. The public sector has recently also pursued railroad and hospital projects with Roschier representing the sponsors.
And Roschier’s infrastructure and projects expertise doesn’t end with public-to-private projects. The team offers experience in every aspect of a project, from advice on planning, construction and public procurement to the project agreements and the financing.
On the infrastructure transactions side, there is increased activity in several sectors – for example, the energy sector, where changes in the regulatory environment have increased interest in energy-related infrastructure. In combination with the need for several players, such as the large energy companies, to focus on their core business, the level of M&A activity in this segment is expected to increase going forward.
Roschier is in a very good position to take advantage of the upturn, with deep knowledge of the infrastructure segment in general and the energy segment in particular.
The firm is well positioned in Finland and Sweden to develop this business together with clients. It also has the resources to handle several mandates simultaneously.
But what really sets Roschier apart in this area? That would undoubtedly be its ability to offer strong project management from a transactional angle – one of the strongest finance teams in the Nordic region, supported by cutting-edge specialists in, for example, tax, procurement and real estate law.