Abertis invests €948m in Chilean toll road

The Spanish firm has doubled its investment in Chilean transportation by acquiring 50% of the highway from AIMco.

Spanish firm Abertis has bought all remaining stakes in Chilean highway Autopista Central from Canadian fund Alberta Investment Management (AIMco).

The €948 million transaction allows Abertis to own the 50 percent stake in the project it does not already own, making it the firm's sixth fully owned toll road in its third-largest market in terms of EBIDTA behind France and Spain. 

Autopista Central, a 61-kilometre concession, is the country's busiest road with 81,037 average daily vehicles in September 2015, according to Abertis data. The concession comprises two sections of highway, the first of which runs through the center of the Chilean capital city of Santiago, crossing 10 city districts from Quilicura in the north to River Maipo in the south. The second segment known as the General Velasquez section runs for 20 kilometres through nine districts. 

The toll concession on Autopista Central expires in 2031. 

Abertis similarly acquired controlling stakes in Chilean Autopista del Sol and Autopista Los Libertadores through a €107.4 million transaction in July 2015. 

The investments fall in line with the company's 2015-2017 Strategic Plan, according to vice chairman and chief executive Francisco Reynés, who said Abertis views Chile as “one of the world's most attractive concession markets, with a clear, stable and consolidated regulatory framework and the region's largest per-capita GDP market”. It will remain a “key component of Abertis' strategy”, he added.

The Spanish group is the largest toll road operator in Chile, with 770-kilometres worth of toll road investments now representing 11 percent of its total revenue.