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News Oct 31, 2016

Shearman & Sterling Recognized for Purple Line Light Rail Project at P3 Bulletin Awards

Shearman & Sterling was recognized at the third annual P3 Bulletin Awards on October 27 for its work on the landmark Purple Line Light Rail Project, which won the Gold Award as the “Best Transit and Aviation Project.” The awards recognize and reward outstanding achievements in public-private partnerships (P3s) across the Americas.

The firm advised the US Department of Transportation in connection with the extension of an approximately US$875 million secured loan issued under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, the proceeds of which will be applied to fund project costs -- the second largest such loan to a P3 project.  Experts have pointed to this transaction as a template for future US light rail transit deals.

The Purple Line Project involves the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of a light rail transit line that will connect multiple branches of the Washington, DC Metrorail, all three MARC commuter rail lines, local and regional bus systems, and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.  The Project represents a number of firsts:

  • First Maryland transit P3
  • First Maryland “availability payment” P3
  • First US P3 to raise Green Bonds, which were issued in the form of $313 mm of senior secured Private Activity Bonds (PABs)
  • First US light rail P3 project in which a TIFIA Loan will be incurred directly by the project company

The Shearman & Sterling team involved in the project included partner Cynthia Urda Kassis; counsel Paul Epstein; and associates Monica Lamb, Jackson Murley and Ali Hassanali (all New York-Project Development & Finance).

P3 Bulletin, a magazine and website covering partnerships between the public and private sector to procure, build and manage public infrastructure, hosted the awards ceremony at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  Winners were selected by an 80-person judging panel.