The Puerto Rican government has selected the consortium headed by abertis and the investment fund Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners II as the preferred bidder to manage the PR-22 and PR-5 toll roads. The consortium, which will manage both toll roads for a 40-year period, will invest a concession fee of US $1,080Mn (€762Mn).
The contract will be carried out through a consortium formed by abertis (45%) and investment fund Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners II (55%). Approximately 40% will be funded through capital contributions by the partners, with the remaining 60% financed with long-term debt. The consortium, which will manage both toll roads through a jointly-owned company, Autopistas Metropolitanas de Puerto Rico LLC (Metropistas), has already secured a firm financing offer from a group of 12 banks.
The contract closing is expected to be finalized in late September, following completion of the bid process.
abertis expects to account for the new assets in Puerto Rico using the equity method. The group’s credit rating is expected to not be hurt.
The PR-22, also known as the José de Diego Motorway, is the busiest toll road in Puerto Rico, with average daily traffic of 84,000 vehicles in 2010. The 83-kilometre road connects the capital, San Juan, with the city of Arecibo in the northern part of the island. The PR-22 features seven toll stations, including the Buchanan plaza, through which over 25 million vehicles a year pass. This station serves an area home to numerous multinational industrial and pharmaceutical companies.
The PR-5, which opened in 2006, is a four-kilometre extension of the PR-22 running through the San Juan metropolitan area in Bayamón. The PR-5 meets up with the PR-6 and PR-2 highways and ends at its intersection with the PR-199.
In 2010, operating revenue from the PR-22 and PR-5 tolls roads totalled US $90Mn (€62Mn).
Consolidation in Puerto Rico and gateway to the US
The operation strengthens abertis’ toll road operations in Puerto Rico, where it has managed the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge in the metropolitan area of San Juan for 16 years. Since its opening, the bridge has handled over 128 million users, generating nearly US $19Mn in 2010 alone, up 8% on the previous year.
abertis’ presence in Puerto Rico over the past years and its commitment to the community and to service quality at the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge have helped make the group a global leader in transport infrastructure management and a preferred partner for public-private projects in Puerto Rico. The company is also a sound partner for public-private undertakings in the US.
The award of the PR-22 and PR-5 contracts will endorse the company’s strong reputation in other areas of the US and serve as a springboard for entry in the rest of the North American market.