Unrealistic price expectations and a requirement to keep committed financing in place for five months may have been among the factors that scared away bidders from Florida’s “Alligator Alley” highway lease project.
Global Via Infrastructure, a member of one of the six teams prequalified to submit a bid for the possible leasing of the highway in August 2008, has issued a statement clarifying why, in the end, it decided to stay out of the bidding.
“Financial proposals were required to be valid for a 150-day period, which is a long period considering the current financial environment and therefore made financing very expensive,” Global Via said in the statement.
Global Via also said that the minimum price it believed was expected by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for a 50-year lease of the highway was “difficult to reach” considering the firm’s financial constraints and its target return for the project.
A member of one of the other bidding groups provided with Global Via’s statement said he generally agreed with the firm’s assessment for why the project did not attract any bids.
Despite not submitting a bid, Global Via said it was still interested in pursuing the project.
“We are looking forward to submitting a competitive bid once FDOT makes minor changes to the proposal requirements, especially those that would help to reduce the cost of financing thus allowing proposers to offer a better price for the facility,” the firm said in the statement.
Last year, the state received six responses to its request for qualifications for the project. By early May, four groups of investors were still in the bidding for the road. They included:
– Alligator Alley Partners, a 50-50 partnership between road concessionaires Atlantia and Global Via, who had originally led separate bidding camps but combined their efforts in April;
– The Alligator Alley Development Partners, a 50-50 partnership between Spanish construction firm OHL and Carlyle Infrastructure Partners;
– The Everglades Parkway Partners, a partnership between Spanish toll road developer Cintra and Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners I;
– Vinci Concessions, a partnership between European transport concessionaire Vinci, Vinci road operator Cofiroute USA and Hubbard Construction Company.
A fifth group, A2 Transportation Partners consortium, informed FDOT on 29 April it would not be submitting a bid. A2 was a consortium of Portuguese toll road operator Brisa, CCR – a Brazilian road developer 18 percent owned by Brisa – and a JPMorgan infrastructure fund, JPMorgan IF Acquisitions.
A person in the consortium who did not wish to be identified told InfrastructureInvestor in a past interview that A2 Transportation Partners pulled its bid due to the high level of uncertainties surrounding the project.