Greenberg Traurig Represents Concessionaire in One of the First Greenfield P3 Projects in the U.S.

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Greenberg Traurig, P.A., one of the United States' largest law firms, represented MAT Concessionaire, LLC and its sponsors, Meridiam Infrastructure Fund and Bouygues Travaux Publics, SA, in the Port of Miami Tunnel (POMT) project. The POMT project is one of the first greenfield public-private partnerships (P3) in the United States.

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the unique financial agreement with [the concessionaire, MAT] is designed to transfer the responsibility to design-build-finance-operate-and-maintain (DBFOM) the project to the private sector. MAT's financial plan combines private bank and federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans with their own equity to finance the project's construction.

Greenberg Traurig, P.A., one of the United States' largest law firms, represented MAT Concessionaire, LLC and its sponsors, Meridiam Infrastructure Fund and Bouygues Travaux Publics, SA, in the Port of Miami Tunnel (POMT) project. The POMT project is one of the first greenfield public-private partnerships (P3) in the United States.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and its partners this week announced the financial close of the POMT project. The historic announcement means construction is set to begin in May 2010. The tunnel is to be comprised of twin tubes, 3,900 feet long and 41 feet wide, reaching 120 feet below Miami's cruise ship terminal. It is expected to be open to traffic by 2014 and will link I-95 and the Port of Miami, alleviate commercial traffic and congestion through Miami's revitalized Downtown and add jobs to the local economy.

"Despite the economic crisis and challenges facing other P3 projects, we believe the Port Tunnel project validates the P3 model for U.S. infrastructure projects," said Patricia Menendez-Cambo, who chairs the firm's Global Practice Group and led the firm's POMT team.

FDOT reports the total cost of the tunnel at $607 million. Florida will pay for 50 percent of the capital costs and for operations and maintenance. Local governments will pay for the remaining 50 percent of capital costs.

As one of the first projects of its kind, the POMT project raised a number of complex legal issues.

"Although P3 projects are relatively new, especially in Florida, our team's expertise on other P3 projects enabled us to identify and successfully address critical tax, environmental, real estate and state law issues," said Yosbel A. Ibarra, a Greenberg Traurig shareholder who was actively involved in the project since it began in 2006.

According to a press release from FDOT, "the unique financial agreement with [the concessionaire, MAT] is designed to transfer the responsibility to design-build-finance-operate-and-maintain (DBFOM) the project to the private sector. MAT's financial plan combines private bank and federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans with their own equity to finance the project's construction."

The multi-year effort was led at Greenberg Traurig by Patricia Menendez-Cambo and Yosbel A. Ibarra (Corporate); Bruce Giles-Klein (Public Finance); Kerri Barsh, Teresa Moore, and Paul Savage (Environmental); Marvin Kirsner (Tax); Burt Bruton (Real Estate); and Michael G. Murphy (Construction Law). In addition, attorneys from across several of the firm's practice areas advised on the POMT project, including Antonio Peña and Enrique Conde (Corporate); Sylvia Penneys (Public Finance); Cliff Schulman, Lucia Dougherty, Alfredo J. Gonzalez, Julie P. Kendig, Javier F. Aviñó, Todd Sumner, Gregory R. Tan, and Edward O. Martos (Environmental); Paul R. Lipton, Eliot Pedrosa and Seann Frazier (Litigation); and Fred Baggett (Governmental Affairs).

Greenberg Traurig has an active P3 Practice Group with more than 50 attorneys advising both public and private sector P3 participants in the development, construction, financing, ownership, and operation of P3 projects. The group's depth of experience in corporate and public finance, tax, environmental, construction, real estate, litigation, and governmental affairs eliminates the need to rely on multiple firms to address the spectrum of legal issues typically encountered in a P3 project. Additionally, the firm's extensive national and international offices, resources, and reach uniquely position the firm to serve projects throughout the U.S., Central and South America, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

Greenberg Traurig attorneys have represented project sponsors, banks and institutional investors, monoline insurance companies, contractors, facility operators, and state and local government agencies. The team has participated in transactions employing a broad range of project structuring techniques and has made significant contributions to the evolution of many of those techniques.

About Greenberg Traurig

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, full-service law firm with approximately 1750 attorneys serving clients from more than 30 offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In the U.S., the firm has more offices than any other among the Top 20 on The National Law Journal's 2008 NLJ 250. In the U.K., the firm operates as Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP.

Additionally, Greenberg Traurig has strategic alliances with the following independent law firms: Studio Santa Maria in Milan and Rome, TA Lawyers GKJ in Tokyo, and Weber Law Office in Zurich. The firm was Chambers and Partners' USA Law Firm of the Year in 2007 and among the Top 3 in the International Law Firm of the Year at the 2009 The Lawyer Awards. For additional information, please visit http://www.gtlaw.com.

Greenberg Traurig is a service mark and trade name of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
©2009 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.

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Lourdes Brezo-Martinez

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