PRESS RELEASE
24/03/2006

Golden Ears Bridge Project, British Columbia, Canada: C$ 1.015 billion (EUR 726 million) Project Finance Facilities successfully closed by Mandated Lead Arranger Dexia Crédit Local

Three months following the opening of a branch in Canada, Dexia Credit

Local is pleased to announce the financial close of CAD 963 million (EUR 687 million) in Wrapped Senior Facilities and of a CAD 52 million (EUR 37 million) Equity Bridge Loan for the Golden Ears Bridge Project (“the Project”) in British Columbia, Canada, on March 3. Dexia is one of both banks selected to arrange jointly this financing, and also acts as credit agent.

The Golden Ears Bridge is a six-lane bridge which will cross the Fraser River near Vancouver. Opening of the bridge is scheduled in June 2009. The Project was awarded in December 2005 to the Golden Crossing General Partnership, a subsidiary of the German group Bilfinger Berger.

Golden Crossing General Partnership is committing to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Project for a period of 35.5 years. After the completion of the construction, the remuneration of this company will be ensured by payments of Translink (public authority in charge of transportation in the Vancouver area) linked exclusively to the quality of the maintenance and the availability of the bridge as no traffic risk is supported by the project.

The financing structure is particularly innovative in a number of aspects. Project Facilities benefit from unconditional and irrevocable financial guarantees of payment of scheduled principal and interest provided equally by monoline insurance companies, thereby enhancing the financing to an AAA rating. The Lead Arrangers also provided a CAD 52 million (EUR 37 million) Equity Bridge Loan Facility and interest rate swaps, which benefit from the same guarantees.

This is the biggest private financing ever raised for a green-field PPP project in Canada to date.