Aberdeen picks up stake in Madrid light rail

The UK fund manager has acquired GED’s 30% stake in Metro Ligero Oeste, marking the latter's first exit since it acquired the infrastructure unit of Ahorro Corporación.

Aberdeen Asset Management  has acquired a 30 percent stake in Metro Ligero Oeste (MLO), the concessionaire of Lines 2 and 3 of Madrid's light rail system, from Spanish buy-out firm GED for an undisclosed amount.

The sale marks GED's first infrastructure exit since it acquired the infrastructure business of Ahorro Corporación, an investment company headquartered in Barcelona, in  March 2015 . Through that transaction, GED took over five infrastructure vehicles totaling €370 million.

The Spanish buyout firm's infrastructure fund currently manages assets worth €169 million, according to a statement issued by GED,

Ahorro Corporación had backed the project through its funds AC Infraestructuras FCR and AC Infraestructuras 2 SCR, which invested jointly under a co-investment agreement, a spokesperson for GED told Infrastructure Investor.

GED's infrastructure fund has retained the name AC Infrastructure FCR but is in the process of changing it to GED Infrastructures, the spokesperson said. According to the statement, the recently-added infrastructure business enables GED to diversify its lines of business. “The aim of GED is to become consolidated as the benchmark asset management company in Spain in 'middle market' infrastructure operations,” the company said, adding that it aims to raise a new infrastructure fund by year end.

MLO's other shareholders are OHL and Queenspoint, a vehicle wholly-owned by Allianz Capital Partners.

According to OHL's website, the Spanish concessions company owns 51.3 percent of MLO. Lines 2 and 3, which together total 22.4km, “connect the towns of Pozuelo (ML2) and Boadilla del Monte (ML3) to the Metro de Madrid subway network at the Colonia Jardín station (Line 10), servicing one of the largest areas of growth in the Community of Madrid.”

The project, which OHL developed, built and financed with an investment of €595.5 million began operating in 2006. The concession agreement expires in 2036.

Ahorro Corporación invested €42 million when it acquired 30 percent of Metro Ligero Oeste.