May 19, 2008 12:20 ET


BARCELONA, SPAIN--(Marketwire - May 19, 2008) - Privatisation of the Pennsylvania Turnpike toll road in the US.

Award of the concession is subject to enabling legislation and the pertinent authorisations from Pennsylvania General Assembly

- The bid presented by the consortium led by Abertis (50%), Citigroup (41.67%) and Criteria CaixaCorp (8.33%) amounts to $12,801Mn (just over EUR 8,300Mn), and is one of the biggest public private partnership initiatives undertaken in the US.

- The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a mature corridor providing service to one of the most economically active regions in the US. The turnpike is 801km long and consists of a westbound toll road from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and a northbound stretch that joins up with the toll roads to Boston, New York and Chicago. Average Daily Traffic (ADT) in 2006 was 35,000 vehicles. The Pennsylvania Turnpike generates annual revenues of over $600Mn.

- For Abertis, once closed, the transaction will extend the average life of its concessions from 18 to 28 years, an increase of 56%.

- Following the deal, the global toll road network managed by abertis either directly or through its investments in concessionaires will approach 10,000km worldwide.

The bid presented by the consortium led by abertis, Citi Infrastructures and Criteria CaixaCorp has been selected by the State of Pennsylvania as the winner in the tender to manage the Pennsylvania Turnpike toll road in the US for 75 years.

The bid, which totals $12,801Mn, or just over EUR 8,300Mn, is subject to enabling legislation and passage through the pertinent approval process at Pennsylvania General Assembly.

A new challenge in Abertis history

Referring to the decision announced today by Pennsylvania governor, Edward Rendell, the Chairman of abertis, Isidre Fainé remarked: "Our bid represents the interests of the State of Pennsylvania, contributing our excellent track record in managing toll roads worldwide. We combine this management excellence with the society and citizen service component implied by infrastructure management. We are known for delivering on our long-term commitments. Civil engineering works such as the Pennsylvania Turnpike are infrastructure assets that serve the communities and territories they transect. They are inextricably entwined in these communities and play a key role in their development."

Meanwhile, according to abertis' Chief Executive Officer, Salvador Alemany: "We have worked very hard on this bid with our partners Citi Infrastructures and with the support of Criteria CaixaCorp., whose presence underscores renewed commitment to growth at abertis and demonstrates, yet again, that our shareholder structure is one of our greatest strengths. Governor Rendell's decision presents our Group with a new challenge, similar to the one we faced when we integrated Aurea and Acesa Infraestructuras back in 2003, or when we acquired TBI's airport business in 2005, thereby gaining a foothold in the US, and when we participated in the privatisation of sanef in 2006, a process which set a precedent for the tender awarded today by the state of Pennsylvania. We will rise to the challenge and the trust placed in our consortium."

Asset description

The Pennsylvania Turnpike consists of a westbound toll road from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and a northbound stretch that joins up with the toll roads to Boston, New York and Chicago. It is 801km long and consists of two sections and two extensions:

- The east-west section from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh (Mainline): 578km.

- The north-south section from Philadelphia to Scranton (Northeast extension): 177 km.

- It also has two extensions measuring 47km in the Pittsburgh area.

After 70 years in operation, this is a mature corridor which services one of the most highly developed regions of the US, linking the major urban areas of Pennsylvania state: Philadelphia, Scranton, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

Average Daily Traffic (ADT) on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in 2006-2007 was 35,000 vehicles in the mainline (Philadelphia to Pittsburgh). As a benchmark, ADT at sanef is 24,000 compared to 27,600 in aggregate on the motorways managed by abertis in Spain in 2007.

International expansion strategy

The deal marks a further step in the company's international expansion process, after incorporating TBI, sanef, Eutelsat and DCA. It also signals abertis' entry in the US toll road market. The US represents a strategic market for the Group where it is already present via its airport business, which manages the Orlando-Sanford airport and the Atlanta international terminal, one of the busiest in the world. It also affords the Group a privileged position from which to embark on additional growth opportunities and boosts its scope for expanding into other sectors in the US, the largest market in the world.

The addition of the Pennsylvania Turnpike will significantly improve the toll road business portfolio: the long concession period (75 years) will lengthen the average life of toll road concessions run by abertis (from 18 to 28 years). Following this deal, the toll road network managed directly by abertis will total more than 4,100km, of which 63% will be located outside Spain. In addition, abertis participates in the management of a further 5,600km via its investments in concessionaires in Italy, Portugal, the UK, Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

Average life concessions of Abertis

This transaction boosts the group's geographic diversification and reinforces its presence in America.

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