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Reaping the rewards of overseas PPPs


THE MAJOR quoted groups are enjoying growing success in exporting their know-how and experience in public-private partnership-style projects.

Last week, Amec and John Laing highlighted major overseas projects, where they are taking significant equity stakes and which should provide a stream of income that investors are keen on.Meanwhile, John Mowlem has just picked up a JV contract to provide facilities management services to a bank in Australian over five years.

These companies are taking advantage of the track records they have acquired from pioneering public-private partnerships and outsourcing initiatives in the UK.But they are also tapping into a potentially vast market for PPP projects as cash-strapped governments worldwide look for alternative forms of financing infrastructure.

Amec's £800 million Incheon Bridge development in South Korea - where the company has finalised arrangements on a finance, design, build, maintain and operate contract and is also investing over £20 million in an equity stake - will provide multiple income streams and an attractive return.

As chief executive Sir Peter Mason said it will also position Amec to benefit as more governments examine the best way to provide public infrastructure and services.

John Laing is set to be an investor in three of the Nordic region's four PPP roads.Last week, a consortium the company belongs to was named as preferred bidder for the £223 million E18 Motorway Project in Finland, involving design, construction, maintenance and finance. Laing is also investing £9 million in a stake and according to chief executive Andy Friend it is further evidence the business model for PPP Investment in public infrastructure is gathering pace in Europe outside the UK.

Elsewhere, Carillion is building up its PPP hospital business in Canada.Gammon, which is half owned by Balfour Beatty, recently won a £33 million PPP-based contract to maintain high-speed roads in Hong Kong, based partly on Balfour's experience at home.