Brookfield buys two Chilean highways for €216m

Spanish developer ACS has sold 50% of Tunel San Cristobal and 46.5% of Vespucio Norte to the Toronto-based investor. The developer is also looking for buyers for its 100% stake in Florida’s €1.2bn I-595 highway.

A team led by Toronto powerhouse Brookfield Asset Management has purchased two of Spanish developer ACS’ Chilean highway concessions for €216 million, ACS said today in a filing to the Spanish regulator.

Brookfield acquired ACS’ 50 percent stake in Tunel San Cristobal and its 46.5 percent holding in Vespucio Norte. The latter is one of the busiest roads in Santiago del Chile, Chile’s capital, while the former links the capital’s business district with its northern suburbs. German developer Hochtief, majority-owned by ACS, is also a significant shareholder in both roads.

ACS has been selling assets in an effort to slim down its €9.85 billion debt pile. This year, the company has already sold 11 wind parks for more than €900 million.

The Spanish developer is also looking to sell its 100 percent stake in Florida’s €1.2 billion I-595 highway – the first infrastructure deal in the US to remunerate private investors using availability payments. Availability payments are paid to the private sector partner in exchange for meeting certain levels of service provision.

According to ACS’ website, the firm has invested €155 million of equity in the I-595, which averages some 130,000 vehicles per day. It won the concession for the road in late 2008 and holds its lease until 2044.

Brookfield announced recently that it is looking to create a C$12.8 billion (€9.4 billion; $13 billion) pure play publicly traded partnership that would group its South America and US renewable power assets under the same umbrella. The resultant partnership, named Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (BREP), would eventually seek listing on the New York Stock Exchange and would operate akin to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, the flagship Brookfield offering.

The recombinant BREP would break down its investment profile among Brazil, Canada and the US, with Canada and the US making up 40 percent apiece of the portfolio and Brazil having the remaining 20 percent. As a renewable energy partnership, BREP would concentrate on hydraulic power. Its $6 billion market capitalisation would mean BREP could finance future Brookfield activity in the space.