AXA PE pays Cintra €67m for Madrid road stake

AXA Private Equity, the French private equity and infrastructure investor, has paid €67m for a 50% stake in Autopista Trados 45, manager of a stretch of the M-45 highway in Madrid. The sale is part of a strategy by seller Cintra to realise proceeds from mature assets.

Paris-based AXA Private Equity has acquired 50 percent of the capital of Autopista Trados 45 from Cintra, Ferrovial’s toll road subsidiary, in a transaction worth €67 million. The acquisition was made by FINAVIAS, an infrastructure investment vehicle owned by AXA Private Equity.

Autopista Trados 45 manages a 14.5 kilometre section of the M-45 highway in Madrid, between the O’Donnell intersection and the junction with the N-IV highway. The section is a shadow toll, with inflation-indexed tolls and payments from the Madrid regional government. The section was inaugurated in March 2002 and the concession runs until 2029.

In 2009, Autopista Trados 45 reported revenues of €26.6 million (up 1.5 percent) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €24.9 million (up 1.9 percent). Average daily traffic on the section last year was 60,669 vehicles.

AXA Private Equity has been investing in toll roads since 2006, when it acquired a stake in SANEF, the third-largest motorway operator in France and fourth-largest in Europe.

“Autopista 45 is attractive because revenues are protected against inflation, its traffic is well established, the concession will run until 2029, and it will strengthen our position in one of Europe’s biggest countries,” said Matthias Burghardt, head of infrastructure at AXA Private Equity, in a statement.

Enrique Diaz-Rato, chief executive of Cintra, said: “This transaction is part of our strategy to raise additional funds by selling more mature assets in the portfolio with a view to investing in new projects with high value creation potential.”

Towards the end of June, Cintra reached an agreement to sell its car park division, Cintra Aparcamientos, to a consortium of investors for €451 million.