Abertis looks to extend Buenos Aires road concession

A memorandum reached between Grupo Concesionario del Oeste, in which Abertis owns a 49% stake, and Argentina’s transportation ministry begins the process to extend the contract to 2030.

An Abertis-led company has signed a memorandum aiming to extend a road concession with Argentina’s National Road Agency.

The agreement between the country’s transportation ministry and Grupo Concesionario del Oeste, of which Barcelona-based Abertis owns a 48.6 percent share and majority voting rights, initiates the process to extend its contract to 2030. The concession to run and maintain a 56km roadway into Buenos Aires currently runs out in 2018.

As part of the deal, GCO will invest an additional $250 million to improve its current road network, with the spending financed by concession revenues. The extension also involves the recognition of the pending rebalancing, Abertis said.

The memorandum represents the first step of a process to finalise the deal, with further legal and government approvals needed. The renegotiation “will settle previous compensation claims between the concessionaire, its shareholders and the granting authority”.

The concession covers one of Argentina’s busiest roads, offering western access to the country’s capital. Abertis also holds a 31.59 percent stake in Autopistas del Sol, which manages a 95km road connecting the city to neighbourhoods just to its north along with a 24km section of roadway around the city. Abertis generated €189 million in revenues and €56 million in EBITDA in Argentina last year.