HSH Nordbank to finance rail link to Brussels airport

Hamburg/Kiel/Brussel, September 28, 2007 - HSH Nordbank will finance the railway link from Brussels airport to the Belgian long-haul rail network. The project known as Diabolo is among Belgium’s most important infrastructure measures. The total project volume of EUR 370 million contains costs about EUR 290 million for the construction that is to be completed by 2012. HSH Nordbank will finance construction of two partially subterranean rail lines, of about three kilometers length. This will connect Brussels’ main airport to the likewise still to be completed new rail link between Schaerbeek and Mechelen in the middle of the motorway E19. The airport will thus be hooked up to the significant Paris-Brussels-Antwerp axis.

Diabolo is the first Belgian infrastructure project of this kind to be funded by a public-private partnership. Infrabel, the state owned infrastructure manager, chose HSH Nordbank as well as Babcock & Brown as private-sector partners from among 25 potential investors. Both Babcock & Brown and HSH Nordbank have many years of experience in planning and financing major construction projects.

HSH Nordbank will act as provider of equity and arranger for the Diabolo project. After deducting ongoing returns during the project phase, the remaining finance volume will be about EUR 315 million. Just under EUR 36 million will be provided by HSH Nordbank and Babcock & Brown as equity. HSH Nordbank’s equity holding will be 25 percent, or about nine million euros. HSH Nordbank will finance all the borrowings of about EUR 280 million. The Northern Diabolo NV special purpose company was set up to execute the project, and ownership of it will pass to HSH Nordbank and Babcock & Brown when the construction work is commissioned.

As soon as the link is completed, Infrabel will obtain the rights to use the lines for 35 years. In return, the project company will be entitled over this period to charge a flat amount per passenger. Northern Diabolo will also receive annual transfers, from both Infrabel and the train operators. In 2047 the line will be handed over fully to Infrabel.

HSH Nordbank will, with the Diabolo project, continue its involvement in Belgian infrastructure projects. In July HSH Nordbank already participated in the refinancing of Brussels airport as joint mandated lead arranger and bookrunner.

HSH Nordbank AG is a strong regional bank in Northern Europe with total assets of € 205 billion. Some 4,600 of the bank’s employees provide corporate and high net-worth clients around the globe with premium bank products and services. In its core region of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, it is the market leader in the corporate customer segment. HSH Nordbank is an acknowledged partner of the capital markets and international sector specialist. Its main focus is on transportation and real estate. In fact, HSH Nordbank is the world’s largest provider of ship finance and covers the entire value chain in the transportation segment. In the area of real estate, HSH Nordbank is one of the strongest banks in Germany, acting as a provider of services relating to all aspects of real estate.

For more information please visit our website at www.hsh-nordbank.com.

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