A New Investor to Enter the «Western High-Speed Diameter» Project: VTB and Qatar Investment Authority Sign an agreement at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
On 2 June 2021, a Framework Agreement in relation to acquisition by Qatar Investment Authority (“QIA”), through its indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary F4 Holding LLC, of 24.99% interest in and the shareholder loan to NCH Holding LLC, the holding company for the Western High-Speed Diameter (“WHSD”) concessionaire, was signed at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The WHSD is a unique 46.6 km intra-city toll highway developed and operated under a public-private partnership agreement with the City of St. Petersburg.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021 after satisfaction of certain conditions precedent, one of which is obtaining the prior approval of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation. «The Western High-speed Diameter is a key example of efficient interaction between the State and the business in the PPP format, enabling the soonest and most efficient implementation of large-scale infrastructural projects that immediately improve living standards of hundreds of thousands of the City’s residents. We welcome the decision by the QIA to enter the project and regard the attention by the renowned financial institution as recognition of the quality of our work and evidence of good development prospects of the project», says Oleg Pankratov, CEO of VTB Infrastructure Holding.
About Western High-Speed Diameter
The WHSD is an intra-city toll highway that was built in restrained urban condition and is, for that reason, unique. The highway provides a solution of key transport problems of Saint Petersburg and shapes the city’s development as a world-level transport hub.
The length of the WHSD in the main direction is 46.6 km. The WHSD project envisages functioning of 15 interchanges. The number of its traffic lanes is between 4 and 8.
The number of transactions registered on the WHSD during a 24-hour period reaches 390 thousand.
The project is being implemented by Northern Capital Highway LLC (“NCH”), which is a portfolio company of VTB Infrastructure Holding. NCH is owned by NCH Holding LLC. The public-private partnership agreement executed in 2012 between NCH, the City of Saint Petersburg and Western High-speed Diameter JSC provides for financing and construction of the Central Sector of the highway and operation of the entire highway for 30 years.
The project is continuously developing. The construction of an interchange linking the WHSD with the Vitebskiy prospect and the perspective Latitude high-speed highway is currently being carried out. The length of the interchange is 2.6 km. This section envisages 6 traffic lanes with an estimated traffic speed of up to 110 km/hour and daily runway capacity of up to 70 thousand vehicles.
The project received awards from major global and Russian economic media, such as “Project Finance International”, “Project Finance Magazine”, “World Finance”, “Infrastructure Investor”, “Rynok tsennykh bumag”. As the best infrastructural project the WHSD was granted the “Traffic Formula” award by the Russian Ministry of Transport, the “Development Award”, and other awards.
About VTB Infrastructure Holding
VTB Infrastructure Holding is the market leader in Russian infrastructure investments, focusing on strategic and commercially successful projects, based on private-public partnerships and concession agreements, and is the largest investor in Russian infrastructure. In total, since 2007 more than $18 bn has been invested in the country’s infrastructure, including nearly $6.5 bn of loans and equity capital from the VTB Group. For more information, visit www.vtbinfra.com
About Qatar Investment Authority
Qatar Investment Authority (“QIA”) is the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar. QIA was founded in 2005 to invest and manage the state reserve funds. QIA is among the largest and most active sovereign wealth funds globally. QIA invests across a wide range of asset classes and regions as well as in partnership with leading institutions around the world to build a global and diversified investment portfolio with a long-term perspective that can deliver sustainable returns and contribute to the prosperity of the State of Qatar. For more information, visit www.qia.qa