Abertis wins 4 motorways in Puerto Rico in a new stage of growth with the support of its shareholders
Abertis, the world's leading infrastructure management group, has won the tender in Puerto Rico for the rehabilitation, operation, and maintenance of four new motorways for the next 40 years. The concession payment bid of 2,850 million dollars submitted by the Group was the most competitive of the proposals presented in the tender.
The new concessions will be managed by exploiting the operational efficiency of Metropistas, Abertis' subsidiary in Puerto Rico, in which it is the majority shareholder. With this new award, Abertis will manage, under Puerto Rico's public-private partnership law, the PR-52, PR-66, PR-20 and PR-53 highways, which will be added to those previously managed in Puerto Rico, such as the PR-22, PR-5 and the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge.
The shareholders will provide support the financing of this operation in Puerto Rico and the acquisition of the SH-288 in Houston (Texas), maintaining an optimal capital structure, in line with Abertis' commitment to maintain its credit rating. The work will also be financed with new bank debt and cash available in the company. This contribution is part of the new strategic collaboration agreement between Mundys and ACS to strengthen Abertis' global leadership in transport infrastructure concessions.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. From then on, the concession will begin operating to Metropistas' standards in terms of operations, safety, quality and sustainability, based on Metropistas' experience in managing infrastructure in Puerto Rico over the past 12 years.
This concession increases Abertis' exposure to the US market, in line with its long-term strategy, supported by its shareholders, of maintaining a sound and balanced portfolio, with a mix of strong currencies such as the US dollar, investing in countries with a stable legal framework, and maintaining its current credit rating.
Highways PR-52, PR-66 and PR-20 are highly strategic and connect to the San Juan metropolitan area, while PR-53 is located in the southern and eastern part of the island. All these assets, which account for more than 60 per cent of the island's toll traffic, provide important connections between densely populated areas.
These lanes will also be managed through a Free Flow or barrier-free toll system, which provides important advantages to users by improving safety, increasing capacity, optimising the level of service of the lanes and reducing pollutant gas emissions by users. In the case of PR-52, it includes managed lanes (Dynamic Toll Lanes), which use guarantees traffic flow through a dynamic toll system that adjusts rates according to traffic conditions in real time. The system uses video technology to identify collisions and it includes a communication system with drivers through electronic signals.