Eiffage, Macquarie in line for €500m pipeline

Toll roads operators jointly owned by the firms have agreed to undertake five new highway projects with the French government.

Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhône (APRR) and Société des Autoroutes Rhone-Alpes (AREA) have signed planning contracts with the French state covering the period 2014-2018, France-based developer Eiffage announced yesterday.

The two new contracts, which follow similar arrangements covering the period 2009-2013, provide for total investments of around €500 million.
APRR is a subsidiary of Eiffarie, a joint venture between Eiffage and Macquarie. AREA, a 99 percent-owned subsidiary of APRR, operates the company’s network in the southern Rhône-Alpes region.

Five new projects will be undertaken under the new contracts: the construction of the A89-A6 junction north of Lyon; the first phase of the A43/A41/Chambery high speed urban road interchange upgrade; and three widenings, namely of the A6 at Auxerre (southbound), the A71 north of Clermont-Ferrand (northbound), and the A41 north of Annecy (in both directions).

Annual tariff increases will apply throughout the period, of 85 percent of CPI (excluding tobacco) + 0.37 percent for APRR and 85 percent of CPI + 0.41 percent for AREA.

APRR is Europe's fourth-largest motorway operator, with a 2,282-kilometre network under concession from the French government. The group posted sales of €2,039 million in 2012, and has around 4,000 employees.

Eiffage’s announcement comes a few weeks after the company secured an €80 million contract for the design and construction of an annex to the National Assembly in Libreville, Gabon, in a sign that the group continues to see opportunities for expansion in Africa. The group handed over the future Dakar motorway in Senegal in August 2013 and is currently carrying out works on the container terminal at the port of Lomé in Togo as well as on two power transmission lines in Senegal.

The last few weeks have also seen Eiffage make lucrative disposals, notably through the sale of two companies involved in French public-private partnerships (PPP) hospitals projects to Meridiam Infrastructure for €272 million.