Securing a Better Deal From Investors in Public Infrastructure Projects: Insights from Capital Budgeting

Veronica Vecchi, Mark Hellowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The return on capital is a major contributor to the cost of design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) contracts, under which public infrastructure is financed and delivered by private companies. The article presents a method for evaluating the rates of return targeted by bidders and applies this to 10 contracts commissioned by the UK National Health Service. The presence of significant excess returns is identified in each case. We argue that, if the rate of return projected by an investor exceeds a benchmark cost of capital, derived using standard capital budgeting techniques, then a reduction in the fee to be paid by the public authority is justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-129
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number1
Early online date1 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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