APG in first US road deals, completes Meridiam allocation

The Dutch pension asset manager has spent over $300m buying stakes in two Texas toll roads from French fund manager Meridiam Infrastructure. It also committed to the latter’s North American fund.

Dutch pension fund asset manager APG has acquired stakes in two Texas toll road concessions from Meridiam Infrastructure and made a commitment to the French fund manager’s $1 billion North American-focused infrastructure fund, APG announced in a statement.

In total, APG handed over $300 million to Meridiam, although the pension did not specify what amount went into acquiring the toll road stakes and what amount was committed to Meridiam’s new North American vehicle. A spokesman did not respond to a request for a breakdown.

The US toll road deals – a first for APG – will see the Dutch pension provider acquire 12.3 percent of the $2.2 billion North Tarrant Express Facility and 13.3 percent of the $2.7 billion IH 635 Managed Lanes Project – also known as the LBJ Expressway. Both Texan projects are 52-year concessions that will see APG join Meridiam, Cintra and the Dallas Police & Fire Pensions System in running the assets.

“We are excited to expand our North American portfolio with the first co-investments in US roads and we will continue exploring opportunities in the growing market of public-private partnerships (PPP) in the region,” said Patrick Kanters, managing director infrastructure at APG Asset Management.

Meridiam chief executive Thierry Deau signalled the deals were the start of a new relationship: “For Meridiam, this transaction is the first step of a promising relationship with a strong and sophisticated investor who shares our long-term perspective of infrastructure.”

APG has been active in the infrastructure space of late and was one of the cornerstone investors in the $625 million Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure, an infrastructure fund run by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets targeting investments in Philippine infrastructure.

Meridiam has also been active on the deal front, leading the consortium that reached financial close in late June on France’s last high-speed rail PPP project – a €2.28 billion line connecting the French cities of Nimes and Montpellier.

Earlier this year, the French fund manager closed its second European infrastructure fund on €935 million and is said to be looking at closing its new North American fund on $1 billion later this summer. So far, sources indicated it has raised about $750 million for the latter.

Meridiam already manages a €600 million, 25-year vehicle focused on greenfield investments across Europe and North America.