Citi Infrastructure Investors eyes toll road investments

The fund and its toll road vehicle, Itinere, are analysing several opportunities in the US, Australia and other OECD countries with a view to making a toll road investment this year.

Now that the dust has settled on Citi Infrastructure Investment’s (CII) acquisition of toll road operator Itinere, the fund is looking to invest in a toll road this year, according to a source close to the process.

CII: eyeing new

While the source did not disclose a timeline and stressed that proceedings are at an embryonic stage, he said the fund and Itinere are analysing several assets across the OECD countries, especially in the US and Australia. He suggested that any bids would be placed by CII with Itinere then managing the assets.

CII bought Itinere from indebted Spanish builder Sacyr last year in a complex, €2.9 billion transaction. The $3.4 billion fund then sold assets to Abertis, Atlantia and Sacyr keeping seven roads that account for 65 percent to 75 percent of Itinere’s value.

But the departure of former CII co-head Juan Bejar to Spanish toll road operator Global Via led the fund’s limited partners to impose a freeze on new investments. The ban was only lifted last December when Holly Koeppel joined the fund to co-head it with Felicity Gates.

CII last bid for a toll road in 2008, when it placed a $12.8 billion offer for the Pennsylvania Turnpike alongside Spanish firm Abertis. The deal, in which CII was a minority equity participant, eventually fell apart because Pennsylvania’s state legislature did not vote on the bid offer.