Axium-led group closes $426m highway refinancing

The Canadian firm and its partners saw strong demand for debt raised for the Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement P3, which they bought from Macquarie in 2010.

Axium Infrastructure and its co-investors have completed the bond financing of the Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement P3 project.

The consortium raised C$556.5 million ($426 million; €385 million) through a senior secured amortising bond rated A2 by Moody’s. It was the second such attempt by the team in a year, after a planned C$583.1 million bond issuance in June 2015 was called off despite receiving a similarly strong rating.

The P3 involves capacity and safety improvement works on the 100km motorway between West Vancouver and Whistler, as well as the operations, maintenance and rehabilitation of the two-to four-lane road. The project is set to cost a total of about C$600 million.

“Sea-to-Sky Highway is an exceptional transportation infrastructure asset with a strong operating history and an attractive long-term profile, which aligns perfectly with our investment strategy. The refinancing of this asset was executed at compelling terms, providing for stable long-term cash flows,” Dominic Chalifoux, vice-president and senior asset operations director of Axium Infrastructure, said in a statement.

Régime de Rentes du Mouvement Desjardins and Nova Scotia Pension Agency teamed up with the Montreal-based firm to buy the entire Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement P3 concession from Macquarie Essential Assets Partnership in 2010, which had initially been awarded the contract in 2005.