(Yonkers, New York) Yonkers Public Schools has selected the team of Macquarie Capital, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, and URS Corporation as financial, legal, and technical advisors for its landmark Public-Private Partnership (P3) project. The P3 plan has been proposed as a possible solution to allow the District to rebuild and/or replace its aging school buildings. As advisors, the team will use their extensive expertise to assess the feasibility of the plan.
The District’s project will be the first social infrastructure P3 for a public school district in the United States. It includes the implementation of the $1.7 billion Educational Facilities Plan and encompasses all 40 schools in the District.
“Maintaining and rebuilding our infrastructure are District priorities, but funding has been unavailable as we continue to struggle against cuts that have decimated staff and programs,” explained Superintendent of Schools Bernard P. Pierorazio. “The P3 transaction provides a highly innovative solution to the District’s capital improvement needs to provide our students and staff with the safe, healthy and functional 21st century educational environments that they deserve.”
The Request for Proposal (RFP), “Financial Legal and Technical Advisory Services for Potential K-12 PPP
(Public-Private Partnership) Program,” was posted on November 16, 2011, and each of the eight teams that responded presented proposals. The four top firms returned for second interviews and after a rigorous proposal review and interview process, the Macquarie-Freshfields-URS team was selected.
“The District is delighted with this selection,” said Yonkers Board of Education President Paresh Patel. “The RFP process presented us with extremely high caliber proposals from which to choose. That said, the Macquarie-Freshfields-URS team has a deep bench of global P3 experience.”
“I am intrigued by the potential P3 project and building much-needed new schools in Yonkers,” said Mayor Mike Spano. “I look forward to working in partnership with the Board of Education to seek out viable avenues on how we can fund the costs of new schools and provide more opportunities for our students.”
The Macquarie-Freshfields-URS team is highly experienced in US P3 transactions and has been involved in every major US P3 transaction with similar financing. The team members have worked collaboratively and successfully closed multiple P3 transactions together.
DJ Gribbin, managing director at Macquarie, commented, “Our team is excited to have the opportunity to assist Yonkers in this historic transaction. We bring an unparalleled level of P3 experience to Yonkers’ efforts to create a brighter future for its students and the community.”
Added Kent Rowey, head of Freshfields’ Americas Energy and Infrastructure practice, “We are absolutely delighted to be charged with this role and look forward to working with Macquarie and URS to assist Yonkers in achieving a cost-effective, long term and sustainable P3 solution for its school program."
Yonkers’ school buildings are the oldest in New York State. The average building is 73 years old and 95 percent have been rated “Unsatisfactory” under state-mandated guidelines. Past capital plans, coupled with inadequate funding, have not been able to revive the District’s deteriorating buildings. The P3 project provides a practical solution.
“Only in this way can education continue to command the absolute full attention of our community,” said Superintendent Pierorazio. “For as education goes, so does the city of Yonkers.”
Macquarie Group (Macquarie) is a global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services. Macquarie’s main business focus is making returns by providing a diversified range of services to clients. Founded in 1969, Macquarie operates in more than 70 office locations in 28 countries. Macquarie employs approximately 14,600 people and has assets under management of over $314 billion (as of December 31, 2011).
With a team of over 75 dedicated infrastructure advisory executives in North America and access to deep P3 expertise from around the world, Macquarie is a world leader in P3 experience. Macquarie helped jump-start the US P3 market as a member of the winning consortia for Chicago Skyway, Indiana Toll Road and Dulles Greenway (VA). Macquarie and its affiliates manage over $94 billion of investments located in 25 countries round the globe, with approximately $25 billion located in North America. Macquarie is also the leading transportation P3 advisor in the United States, having advised both governments and the private sector on landmark P3 transactions
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is a leading international law firm with more than 2,500 lawyers in 27 offices in 15 countries across America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It is an acknowledged P3 leader having brought a large number of significant North American P3 projects to successful financial close during the past few years. Freshfields has represented public sector clients on some of the largest and most complex P3 transactions ever undertaken.
Notably, the firm represented the Regional Transportation District of Denver, Colorado in relation to the successful procurement of landmark $2.1 billion Eagle P3 commuter rail project, which closed in 2010, and currently acts as special statewide counsel to the Florida Department of Transportation on its P3 strategy generally.
URS Corporation is a leading provider of engineering, construction and technical services for public agencies and private sector companies around the world. URS offers a full range of program management; planning, design and engineering; systems engineering and technical assistance; construction and construction management; operations and maintenance; and decommissioning and closure services for power, infrastructure, industrial and commercial, and federal projects and programs.