The Interserve-led consortium Environments for Learning (E4L) achieved financial close on 31 July 2009 for the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) contract with Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. Interserve will deliver construction and facilities management services worth more than £280 million for the major schools development programme in the West Midland’s metropolitan borough.

Construction will involve both new build and major refurbishment and will include a mix of Private Finance Initiative and conventional design and build projects. The initial projects in the first wave will be the Rowley Learning Campus, with 1,835 pupil places, and the Smethwick Learning Campus, with 1,623 places. Construction for the first wave is expected to take around two years and the concession will run for 25 years.

Barclay’s Private Equity is the consortium’s financial partner while senior financing is being provided by Barclays and Nationwide Building Society.

Operis was appointed to conduct financial model auditing and a full tax and accounting review for the consortium and lenders.

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