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SEA - Tours-Bordeaux High Speed Rail, France

A 50-year concession for a 303km high speed rail line between Tours and Bordeaux. In operation since 2017

Background

The SEA (Sud Europe Atlantique) is a new high-speed line parallel to existing congested inter-urban rail lines from Tours to Poitiers, Angoulême and Bordeaux (France’s 5th largest urban area)(1). The project is cutting down travel time on the 584km route between Paris and Bordeaux, making the door-to-door train journey faster than air travel. Approximately 21 million passengers travelled on the SEA corridor.

In 2011, Meridiam acquired SOJAS, which held at the time 22.34% of the shares in LISEA, the Project Company. Following the acquisition of an additional 2.01% (sold by Ardian) in October 2018, Meridiam owns 24.35% of the shares in LISEA.

The €905m bonds issued as part of the project refinancing were granted the “Green Bonds” label by V.E Moody’s, a global leader in ESG research.

LISEA launched foundations that have subsidized more than 300 projects (eur 10 million endowment) to foster sustainable growth:

  • Foundation for the Regional Transition (“Fonds SEA pour la transition des territoires”). It provides financial support (c. €500k/year) to projects (c. 10 per year) contributing to ecological transition. The first initiative was launched in Q1 2021 with a call for expressions of interest regarding projects aiming to promote local and sustainable agriculture. This initiative has attracted significant interest with 28 applications received. Initiatives will be shortlisted in Q4 2021. This foundation was created in 2020 after the merger between its Biodiversity (supported projects for the preservation and restoration of natural resources) and Carbon foundation (supported the financing of projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions) in one single entity.
  • LISEA “Sillon Solidaire” foundation to fight social exclusion and foster the professional insertion of people in difficulties.

 

Stage: 4 years of operation

 

Learn more about the project:

Green bonds to refinance the Paris-Bordeaux high-speed railway line

South Europe Atlantic High Speed Line

South Europe Atlantic High Speed Line Heat Exchangers

 

TGV High Speed Trains carry its first commercial passengers between Bordeaux and Paris

 

20.6 million

Passengers in 2019

2h04

from Paris to Bordeaux

2 funds

(eur 10 million endowment) to foster sustainable growth

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