>@Anne-Cécile Auguin/EIB

- The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Caisse des Dépôts provide EUR 40m each. 
- This operation, which completes the first EUR 165m closing of its new Brownfields 3 Fund, is crucial for Brownfields, the European leader specialising in the depollution and redevelopment of derelict sides.
- Given the increasing demand for the rehabilitation of sites located in towns and, in particular, in large conurbations, this financing transaction will enable Brownfields to double its investment capacity, by providing it with scope for multiplying operations similar to the flagship Sevran project in the Seine-Saint-Denis Department with a high economic impact for the region.

On 22 February 2018, the innovative operator Brownfields, which specialises in the decontamination and redevelopment of former industrial sites, received EUR 80m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Caisse des Dépôts to continue expanding its activities for the depollution and economic remediation of industrial, tertiary and commercial brownfield sites in city centres. Around ten institutional investors and Brownfields will contribute EUR 85m, bringing the subscribed total to date up to EUR 165m. The signing ceremony took place on the Sevran industrial site in Seine-Saint-Denis, which is currently being redeveloped by Brownfields and its partner promoter Altarea Cogedim, in the presence of Brownfields Gestion’s President Patrick Viterbo, Caisse des Dépôts’ Director of Investment and Local Development Gabrielle Gauthey, EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle and Mayor of Sevran Stéphane Gatignon

This is a key financing operation for Brownfields Gestion, which, following on from this first closing and with the arrival of these major investors, aims to raise EUR 250m at the final closing with a view to financing 40 to 50 projects over the next five years. Brownfields President Patrick Viterbo stated: “More than doubled, these funds will enable us to better meet the challenges of urban regeneration in Greater Paris and the regions. We are now establishing our position as a developer of urban projects to which, in addition to our recognised depollution expertise, we will always bring an increased focus on the ecological footprint of the new eco-districts which we are helping to create.”

For the EIB, whose contribution amounts to EUR 40m, this new financing operation comes under the Investment Plan for Europe, commonly known as the Juncker Plan, which aims to boost investment, in particular by attracting other investors to riskier operations. This financing is fully consistent with the EIB’s priority commitment to the environment and innovation, as highlighted by its Vice-President, Ambroise Fayolle: “With this new participation in the Brownfields Fund, we are pleased to be able to finance environmentally friendly, innovative and socially responsible initiatives that stimulate economic activity and thus create jobs at the heart of cities, as here in Sevran. Thanks to this financing operation and the EU guarantee under the Juncker Plan, we are able to support the expansion of Brownfields’ activity by doubling its investment capacity and attracting other private investors, while ensuring that sites in urgent need of rehabilitation are rapidly addressed. I wish Brownfields 3 well-deserved success in carrying out its projects.”  

Since 2015, the EIB Group has been the operator of the Juncker Plan. Since its launch in France, 115 operations have been approved, providing EUR 9bn, which is expected to lever EUR 40.5bn of additional investment. 

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici commented: “The EU is investing to improve the daily lives of the residents of Sevran. With the support of the Juncker Plan, the former Cardo AB industrial site will be cleaned up and placed at the service of citizens: it will soon contain a public space, new businesses and new social and multi-generation housing.”

With its EUR 40m investment in the Brownfields 3 Fund, Caisse des Dépôts is underpinning its commitment to support the regions and its involvement in sustainable development. The depollution and redevelopment of industrial and tertiary brownfield sites helps to enhance the attractiveness of a region, by promoting the creation of new real estate options and facilitating land production at an acceptable cost and without any budgetary effort by local authorities. A number of Brownfields operations will benefit Greater Paris along the same lines as the “Inventing Greater Paris Metropolis” call for projects supported by Caisse des Dépôts and the Future Investment Programme.

Caisse des Dépôts’ Director of Investment and Local Development Gabrielle Gauthey observed: “After the success of Brownfields 2, Caisse des Dépôts decided to demonstrate its continued confidence in Brownfields by investing in this new fund which will help to accelerate the depollution of urban sites and undertake regeneration measures. Land acquisition at an affordable cost will drive the construction of housing and social housing in particular, which is a priority for Caisse des Dépôts.”

Sevran, a flagship operation

The Sevran operation, financed by the predecessor fund Brownfields 2, contributed to decontaminating and converting the former Cardo AB industrial site and an adjacent industrial brownfield site belonging to the city of Sevran into an eco-district with a floor area of 60 000 m² near Freinville station. The new site will have 630 housing units, including 265 social units and 120 affordable rental units, five residential homes (elderly, students, young workers) and businesses. This large-scale, highly diverse property programme is being implemented by the Altarea Cogedim Group (in association with Crescendo).

A major, complex depollution operation had to be carried out on the site in order to eliminate all health risks for the future residents and users.