DIF, Swiss Life seal €141m Polish motorway deal

The pair have become the latest owners of Poland’s A1 motorway just days after a minority stake in the asset was sold by John Laing to First State.

A joint venture between Dutch fund manager DIF and Swiss Life Asset Managers has paid SKr 1.4 billion ($155.9 million; €140.8 million) for Skanska’s 30 percent stake in Gdansk Transport Company, the concessionaire of the A1 motorway project in Poland.

The acquisition was made through Swiss Life’s Global Infrastructure Opportunities II platform and DIF Infrastructure IV, which closed in September 2015 on €1.15 billion. The project’s concession expires in 2039.

The investment in Gdansk Transport Company is DIF Infrastructure IV’s fifth investment in a European motorway. In June it paid Ferrovial €159 million for 51 percent of Portugal’s Norte Litoral toll road and 49 percent of the Via do Infante road, also in Portugal. It also owns 50 percent of the €1.3 billion consortium that is in charge of extending Germany’s A6 highway and holds a 9.22 percent stake in France’s A63 toll road project.

Skanska’s sale of its stake to the investment duo comes just days after John Laing sold its 29.7 percent ownership in Poland’s A1 to First State for €146.9 million. Polish developer NDI Autostrada and Hungarian motorway firm Intertoll Infrastructure Development retain their 25 percent and 15 percent respective shares in Gdansk Transport Company.

The A1 motorway was originally built and financed in two phases and cost a total €1.5 billion.

Skanska’s sale remains subject to consent of the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure. The developer expects the deal to close before the end of the year.