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Norton Rose, the international law firm, has advised the ministry of transport, constructions and tourism of Romania on its € 300mn Predeal to Cristian Motorway Project – a major part of the Romanian government’s Bucharest to Brasov PPP Motorway Scheme.

The motorway represents Romania’s first substantive foray into PPP, and is expected to be followed by a further wave of PPP projects. The concession contract has been initialled by the ministry and the concessionaire and it is now the intention to present it to the government for formal approval over the course of the next few weeks.

The proposed financing structure is unusual and required some complex financial engineering, including incorporating ongoing performance bonding to ensure appropriate risk allocation, IMF approval and off-balance sheet treatment for the project. 

London-based Norton Rose senior associate Vince Mulvey led a large part of the negotiations in Romania, working with a team comprising partners Andrew Newbery (London) and Campbell Steedman (Frankfurt) and associate Kathryn Henry.

The developer behind the project, a joint venture between two Israeli-based companies Ashtrom International Ltd and Roichman Bros (Shomron) Ltd, is advised by Naschitz Brandes. 

The Romanian law firm of Simona Neagu is advising the ministry on local law matters and ING Bank is the ministry’s financial adviser.

Norton Rose also advised the Bulgarian government in relation to the recently announced sales of seven electricity distribution companies.