Global law firm Ashurst has advised J.P. Morgan, as initial mandated lead arranger, and UK Export Finance on a €430 million (£365 million) guaranteed loan to Bechtel for the construction of the 5G-ready Morava Corridor motorway in Serbia.
The UKEF-supported Buyer Credit Facility will help Bechtel in its joint venture with ENKA to create value worth €150 million (£127.5 million) to the UK economy, driving investment into local communities and supporting jobs. This is also the first export credit deal to be concluded by UKEF for Serbia’s Ministry of Finance.
The Morava Corridor (Infrastructure Corridor E-761) will be the second major transport artery in Serbia, connecting communities and businesses from Pojate in the east to Preljina in the west, and linking the country’s North-South motorway to the Hungarian and North Macedonian borders.
The Ashurst team was led by partner Tom Longmuir with associates Ruxandra Ionescu, Samia Khennous and Bambi Mpoy.
Commenting, Ashurst partner Tom Longmuir said:
“This is a transformational infrastructure project which will provide vital trade links for facilitating the growth of Serbia’s economy. We are delighted to have assisted J.P. Morgan and UK Export Finance in bringing a complex financing to a successful close.”
John Meakin, Global Head of Export Finance at J.P. Morgan, added:
“We are both proud and thrilled to have led the execution of the first UKEF-backed financing in Serbia. This is an important project, bringing crucial infrastructure improvements to the country and connecting communities and businesses.”
Brendan Bechtel, Bechtel CEO and Chairman, commented:
“This welcome support from UK Export Finance will allow Bechtel, together with our partner ENKA, to deliver this transformational infrastructure project using goods and services exported from the UK. At a time of post COVID recovery, this investment in the supply chain will benefit both the UK and Serbian economies and will also enable Bechtel to continue to grow our partnerships in both countries.”