Macquarie Infrastructure Group, an Australian toll road investor that owns half a stake in the Chicago Skyway and is finalizing its stake in the Indiana Toll Road, has announced plans to divest its Australian assets.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Macquarie chief executive Stephen Allen said the firm’s holdings in Australia were mature assets, whereas “the biggest potential growth market is the U.S.”
The Australian firm partnered with a Spanish investor, Cintra Concessiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A. to offer a $3.85 billion bid for a 75-year lease agreement to collect the tolls and maintain the Indiana Toll Road. The 157-mile corridor spans the state from east to west and consists of sections of I-80/90/94. It acts as a conduit between Illinois and Ohio.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has gained authorization from the state legislature to approve the lease. The transaction is expected to close in June, which would give the state a hefty lump sum that would completely erase a $2.8-billion transportation budget shortfall over 10 years.
The same Australian-Spanish consortium in 2004 signed a $1.8-billion agreement to lease the Chicago Skyway for 99 years.
For more information, go to www.in.gov/gov/majormoves/.