Globalvia pension investors buy company for €420m

OPTrust, PGGM and USS have matched a rival offer by a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund to become sole owners of the concessions business.

Canada’s OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust), the Netherlands’ PGGM and the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) are set to acquire Globalvia Infraestructuras from Spanish lender Bankia and Barcelona-based Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC).

The three pensions have agreed to acquire 100 percent of the transport concessions business for up to €420 million, comprising an initial settlement of €166 million and a deferred payment of €254 million.

The arrangement exactly replicates a previous offer by Khazanah Nasional, a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, which the sellers had received last summer. As owner of a €750 million convertible loan to Globalvia, the OPTrust, PGGM and USS consortium was then given the right to match the fund’s bid to buy the company.

Bankia and FCC put Globalvia on the block at the end of last year. Spanish construction group Ferrovial, Toronto-based asset manager Bastion Infrastructure Group and Ginkgo Tree Investments, the London-listed arm of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, were at the time also thought to be considering a bid.

Established in 2007, Globalvia manages 29 concessions in seven different countries. Highways and railways make up for 27 of them, with the remainder comprising one hospital and one port. The company operates in Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Andorra, Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile.

Earlier this decade Globalvia sought to raise money from third-party investors to fund its operations and future acquisitions, a process that concluded two year ago when USS, PGGM and OPTrust injected a joint €350 million in the business. That topped the initial €400 million pool PGGM and OPTrust had committed in 2011.

The transaction announced today, which remains subject to a number of third-party conditions and authorisations, is part of efforts by FCC and Bankia to clean their balance sheets by divesting non-core assets.