Press Releases

Ottawa Light Rail Transit Project Underwritten by National Bank Financial and Sun Life Financial Wins North American PPP Deal of the Year Award

Toronto, 19 March 2014 -

National Bank Financial Inc. ("National Bank Financial") and Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada ("Sun Life Assurance"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun Life Financial Inc., are pleased to announce that the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (“OLRT”) project, also known as the Confederation Line, has won the award for North American PPP Deal of the Year awarded by Project Finance Magazine on March 13th in New York City, NY.

“Public-private partnerships in Canada have emerged as an innovative and effective way to deliver public infrastructure. We are very pleased that Ottawa Light Rail Transit project has received this important award and we are proud to be playing a key role as financing and advisory specialists in this field," said Peter Hepburn, Head and Managing Director of the Infrastructure Finance Group, National Bank Financial.

“Sun Life was very pleased to support the consortium members on their successful bid on the Ottawa LRT project - a project that will provide economic, environmental and sustainability benefits for the City of Ottawa for generations to come", said John Vincent, Senior Managing Director and Head of Project Finance, Sun Life Financial.

The Ottawa Light Rapid Transit project was procured by the City of Ottawa in 2013 using Infrastructure Ontario’s (“IO”) Alternative Financing and Procurement (“AFP”) framework and includes the conversion of the existing 12.5 km bus rapid transit corridor into a light rail transit system, the upgrades to ten existing passenger stations, the construction of three new underground passenger stations, a 2.5 km tunnel through Ottawa’s downtown core, the construction of a new maintenance and storage facility, the procurement of an initial light rail vehicle fleet, and the widening and rehabilitation of 4 km of Highway 417. The OLRT project is Ottawa’s most significant infrastructure investment since the building of the Rideau Canal.

The financing of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit project reached financial close in February 2013. National Bank Financial and Sun Life Assurance acted as co-lead underwriters. National Bank Financial also acted as book runner, mandated lead arranger and hedge provider on the senior bank construction financing and is acting as administrative agent for all senior lenders in the financing on an ongoing basis. Sun Life Assurance is the largest investor among all financing tranches and took a lead role in the structuring of the transaction.

"The innovative underwriting approach is another example of the customized private debt solution that Sun Life is able to provide sponsors to help them deliver a competitive bid," said Vincent.

The Project Finance Awards, which started 15 years ago, value different aspects of transactions, such as innovation, deal repeatability, best practices, problem solving, risk mitigation, value for money, and speed of delivery in the financing of infrastructure projects. Since the liquidity crunch of 2008, the awards judge all deals in the context of the lending climate at the time of financial close, while also considering repeatability of deal structure in the current financing climate. Each year, an average of 300 to 350 deals are reviewed and vetted via a weighting system by a panel of journalists from Project Finance Magazine and independent industry representatives.

The project is being developed by the Rideau Transit Group, which brings together the capabilities and expertise of ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc.; SNC-Lavalin Capital, a division of SNC-Lavalin Inc.; and EllisDon Inc. These companies formed a joint venture to design, build, finance, and maintain the OLRT project and ensure the availability of use by the public for 30 years.

About National Bank of Canada
With $195 billion in assets as at January 31, 2014, National Bank of Canada (, together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada’s leading integrated financial groups, and has been named among the 20 strongest banks in the world by Bloomberg Markets magazine. The Bank has close to 20,000 employees and is widely recognized as a top employer. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). Follow the Bank’s activities via social media and learn more about its extensive community involvement at  and our social commitment.

About National Bank Financial
With $80 billion in assets under administration, National Bank Financial is a fully-integrated investment dealer combining retail advisory and brokerage services with institutional brokerage, investment banking, corporate finance, and securities clearing for third parties. National Bank Financial offers its services to more than 350,000 clients. Its Financial Markets division has a major presence in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal, as well as operations in the United States and Europe.

About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun Life Financial Inc. and a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies. Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers.  Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda.  As of December 31, 2013 the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $640 billion.  For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Information (The telephone number provided below is for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives.):

National Bank
Jean-François Cadieux
Chief Advisor
Public Affairs
T. 514.394.6500

Sun Life Financial
Gannon Loftus                                                                                   
Senior Media & PR Specialist                                                             
Corporate Communications                                                                
T. 416.979.6345