A UK-based team led by Ernst & Young has won the advisory deal for the $7bn Kuwait metro project.

The group also includes Atkins as technical adviser and Ashurst as legal adviser. The group is expected to sign the contract once the state’s Audit Bureau gives its approval.

The client, the Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) recevied proposals from consultants on 27 May for the advisory deal (MEED 12:4:10).

In November 2009, the PTB drew up a shortlist from an original list of 45 consultants, which expressed interest in the metro advisory contract.

Ernst & Young will now act as the transaction adviser, helping the PTB structure, procure and negotiate the deal. This includes validating previous feasibility studies, carrying out due diligence on the project and overseeing the tender process.

The group will also evaluate the design of the metro, which was carried out by Kuwait Overland Transport Union and Kuwait Municipality.

The $7bn metro scheme involves the construction of a 171-kilometre-long inner-city transport network with four lines running across Kuwait City. About 60km of the lines will be built underground.

A private developer will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the metro network. The developer will own 40 per cent of the project company, the government will own 10 per cent and the state will sell the remaining 50 per cent in an initial public offering (IPO).