Friday, February 3, 2023

ACS finalizes purchase of 21.6% of SH 288 in Texas from Shinun and Binui for $400 million

ACS maintains advanced talks with Shikun and Binui to acquire the 21.62% that the Israeli group holds in the Texas Toll Highway (USA). take sh 288 and thus 100% The infrastructure concessionaire, called Blueridge Transportation Group. The company headed by Florentino Perez made an offer of 400 million euros to acquire this stake in September and Shicun & Binui has received the necessary regulatory authorizations to be able to close the transaction.

ACS, through Iridium, reached an agreement in August to acquire 44.65% of sh 288 operator Its partners Infrared Capital Partners, Northleaf Capital Partners and Star America from Houston have been bought for about 900 million euros. This increased its stake from 21.62% to 66.27%. Subsequently, in October, it agreed to pick up 12.11% owned by Clal Insurance for around 240 million to increase its position to 78.38%. These transactions were pending administrative approval and compliance with the terms preceding such agreement.

Now, ACS has finalized an agreement with Shikun and Binui to buy their 21.62% stake in SH 288, thus taking full control of the highway. The Spanish group moved a proposal in September that 100% of the concession was worth $1,950 million (1,850 million euros at the current exchange rate). In this way the participation of the Israeli firm will reach a value of 421.6 million dollars (399.6 million euros). The company, headed by Real Madrid’s president, set 20 October to receive a response, with a deadline of 31 December to close the sale.

Shikun and Binui moved the ACS’ acceptance of the proposal on 20 October, conditional on the conclusion of negotiations between the parties and regulatory approval. However, the Israeli multinational has already warned that the completion Transaction before 31st December It was not long.

On December 30, ACS and Shikun & Binui obtained relevant regulatory authorizations. While it has not been possible to close operations before the end of 2022, the companies continue to negotiate under the terms of the original offer. At the end of December 31, Israeli firm no longer needs to sell It can transfer its share in SH 288 to ACS and, if necessary, to another entity, as long as the price is higher than that offered by the Spanish company. In any case, the process between the two groups is progressing and is already in its final stages. For Shikun and Binui, the sale would mean quadrupling their investment in the project.

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ACS, through Iridium, Dragados USA and Police Construction, led the consortium that was awarded the contract in 2015 to finance, design, construct and operate four new toll lanes on SH 288. The route extends to the year 2068.

ACS focuses its strategy on development in infrastructure and, in particular, in motorways. In the United States, in addition to SH 288 near its concessionaire Iridium, LA US 181 Harbor BridgeAlso in Texas, the I 595 Express, in Florida, bypasses Portsmouth from Ohio.

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Through ACS, Iridium, Dragdos USA and Police Construction, led the consortium that was awarded the contract in 2015 To finance, design, build and operate four new toll lanes on SH 288. The operational period of the road extends till the year 2068.

ACS focuses its strategy on development in infrastructure and, in particular, in motorways. In the United States, its concessionaires include, in addition to SH 288 in Iridium, the US 181 Harbor Bridge in Texas, the I 595 Expressway in Florida, the Portsmouth Bypass in Ohio.

more than 2,000 million euros

Once it closes the purchase from its partners on the SH 288 toll road, ACS will have disbursed EUR 1,540 million to reach 100% of the capital. In the past year, the group has also allocated 577.8 million to buy 14.46% of its German subsidiary Hochtief. All this represents more than 2,100 million, to which more than 300 million are added for renewals. In this way, it would have invested half of the 4,900 million received from the sale of Cobra to Vinci at the end of 2021. In the Hochtief takeover bid for Simic for 985 million, the German resorted to bank financing.

Future opportunities for Abertis

The SH 288 toll road in Texas (USA), from which ACS intends to acquire 100% capital, stands out as a potential growth opportunity for Abertis. The Spanish concessionaire, owned by Italian Atlantia and ACS, has a priority market in the United States for global expansion. For now, however, the group headed by Florentino Perez plans to keep the asset on its balance sheet.

Thus Abertis will have to wait for the opportunity to enhance its portfolio with the ACS project. The shareholders’ agreement approved four years ago in the framework of the takeover bid for Abertis between Atlantia and ACS established that the operator, directed by José Alzarro, could, if necessary, acquire the assets from their owners. However, it has not made any purchases in these four years. Nor have they tied up for new projects, neither greenfield (construction and exploitation) nor brownfield (operation).

Abertis dropped various options placed on the market by ACS and Atlantia, either because the shares were minority, or because the projects did not fit their strategy. Thus, the Spanish company has divested several toll highways in the United States, Canada or Germany in recent years, and the Italian company has done the same in Chile.

Regarding SH 288, ACS’ CEO, Juan Santamaria, indicated in the group’s latest quarterly results presentation that the intention is to keep it on its books, although he stressed that “we are committed to the growth of Abertis”, so that it “shall decide whether it wishes to acquire the property or not, and that shall be the subject of negotiation and debate.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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