Ardian in double Spanish road deal

The Paris-headquartered firm is set to acquire a majority stake in two assets owned by Brazil’s BTG Pactual as it gears up towards raising its fourth infrastructure fund.

French fund manager Ardian has agreed to buy a 65 percent holding in Tunels Barcelona Cadi, comprising two Spanish toll roads, from Brazilian bank BTG Pactual.

Both assets are operated under a sole concession agreement with the Catalonian Regional Government until 2037.

They comprise Tunel de Vallvidrera and its access roads, which were opened in 1991, are 11.5-kilometre long and link Barcelona to San Cugat and the Vallés Occidental region; and Tunel del Cadi and its access roads, opened in 1984, 28.5-kilometre long and linking Barcelona to holiday destinations in the Pyrenees.

The assets are operated by Abertis, which is to retain its 35 percent stake upon completion of the deal. The transaction, still subject to regulatory approval, will not mark the first instance of collaboration between Ardian and the Spanish developer: both have been partners in French toll-road company SANEF since 2005 and co-shareholders of Trados 45, a Spanish toll road business, since 2010.

The deal will be funded via Ardian’s third infrastructure vehicle, a 2013-vintage fund closed with €1.45 billion of limited partner commitments plus €300 million earmarked for co-investments. As was first reported by Infrastructure Investor earlier this week, the firm is currently talking to investors about a fourth infrastructure fund with a target size understood to stand at €2 billion.

Other deals sealed by the firm this year include parking space operator Vinci Park, in which it invested alongside French bank Crédit Agricole Assurances. Both shareholders now own a 35 percent indirect stake in the company.