EISER buys stake in Spanish roads, transport hubs

The €1.1bn fund – formerly known as ABN Amro Global Infrastructure Fund – has bought a 49% stake in two roads and two transport hubs in Spain owned by Sacyr for €47m. The deal may signal the beginning of a longer-term partnership between the two companies.

EISER Global Infrastructure Fund has just bought into four concessions owned by Spanish construction company Sacyr for €47 million, Sacyr said in a statement.

The sale is part of Sacyr’s strategy to attract new financial partners for its concessions unit with the firm saying that the partnership with EISER might pave the way for future deals between the two, including bidding for new projects.

Under the current agreement, EISER will own 49 percent of two new vehicles which will be created to hold the four concessions the fund has bought into. These include two shadow toll road projects across Spain – the Autovia del Noroeste and the Autovia del Turia – and two intermodal stations in Madrid – Plaza Eliptica and Moncloa.

Shadow tolls are road concessions where the government pays the private partner a fee partly based on the number of vehicles that use the road so that it remains toll-free to users.

EISER recently completed its managed buyout from Fortis. The €1.1 billion fund was formerly known as ABN Amro Global Infrastructure Fund, which was originally set up in 2005. But the fund was acquired in 2008 in a three-way deal between Fortis, RBS and Santander that saw the investors acquire part of Dutch bank ABN Amro.

When Fortis suffered massive write-downs at the end of 2008 on account of the US sub-prime crisis, the Belgian and Luxembourg governments asked French bank BNP Paribas to take over Fortis, and the fund found itself part of BNP Paribas, which already sponsors the Antin Infrastructure Fund.

EISER’s chief executive, Hans Meissner, had previously told InfrastructureInvestor.com that the fund was 75 percent-invested and that he expected to commit the remaining capital by the end of this year. He added he was in the process of launching a second infrastructure fund targeting a similar size to the existing fund and investing along the same lines. BNP Paribas is looking to invest €100 million in the new fund, though it will no longer be a parent sponsor, EISER said in a statement.

In related news, Sacyr also sold a 40 percent stake in one of its Chilean concessions – the Vallenar-Caldera motorway – to Chilean investor Fondo de Inversion de las Americas for close to €17 million.