Japan’s Maeda wins $1.34bn toll road deal

Macquarie is teaming with a group led by the concessionaire as a “business collaborator” to run a portfolio of eight toll roads in Central Japan.

A consortium led by Maeda Corporation, a Japanese infrastructure developer, has been chosen as the preferred bidder for eight toll roads concessions in Aichi Prefecture. 

The consortium comprises Mori Trust Group, Daiwa Lease, Daiwa House Industry Company and Central Highway Company, according to a statement by Aichi’s prefectural government. 

Sydney-based Macquarie Corporate Holdings is teaming with Maeda consortium as a “business collaborator”. Macquarie did not provide further details on the exact nature of the collaboration, declining to comment on whether it was part of the winning consortium.

The concessions are valued at around JPY138 billion ($1.34 billion; €1.21 billion) with tax excluded, Aichi government said. They include a toll road linking Tokyo to Nagoya International Airport,

The consortium will take over the concessions in October this year and run them over periods ranging from 14 years to 30 years. 

It was reported that other shortlisted bidders include Japanese financial group Orix and French partner Vinci, as well as a consortium led by Kumagai Gumi Company. 

The sale of Aichi toll roads, which come as the country privatises airports in a bid to monetise state assets and improve business performance, is the first of its kind in Japan. The scheme was initiated when the Japanese government revised its private financing initiatives in 2011 to allow private sector investment in public infrastructure facilities, including toll roads and airports. 

The government recently kick-started a process to privatise Fuji Shizuoka Airport, a regional hub. 

In March, a consortium formed of Orix and Vinci took over the operations of two international airports in Osaka and reached a financial close on the transaction. The concessionaire won the rights to run two hubs for 44 years last November in exchange for JPY2.2 trillion paid to the Japanese government.