JLC Infra joins team bidding for $2.25bn LAX train project

The fund, backed by former basketball star Magic Johnson, again partners with a Meridiam-led consortium.

Magic Johnson-backed JLC Infrastructure has joined a team bidding on a $2.25 billion project to develop a light rail running through Los Angeles International Airport.

JLC, a fund formed by Earvin “Magic” Johnson along with Loop Capital chief executive Jim Reynolds, joined Gateway Connectors, one of three consortia shortlisted for the project. The team also includes Meridiam Infrastructure, Skanska, and Nebraska-based Kiewit Infrastructure. JLC joined the group as an equity investor and developer, according to the fund. Los Angeles World Airports, the agency leading procurement for the project, confirmed that JLC had been added to the group’s bid.

The LAX Train, a two-mile six-station system, will connect the airport’s central terminal to the city’s light rail as well as parking and rental car facilities. The train is part of a $5.5 billion modernisation scheme at LAX, as the airport is known. Johnson called the project “central to our mission of investing in opportunities that enable community engagement and economic growth”.

JLC’s announcement comes two months after the fund invested $10 million in a $4 billion redevelopment of New York’s LaGuardia Airport. That project was awarded to LaGuardia Gateway Partners, which also includes Paris-based Meridiam and Stockholm-based Skanska, along with Vancouver’s Vantage Airport Group. On that project, JLC took a 5 percent stake in LGP’s $200 million equity share.

Gateway Connectors is one of three teams shortlisted for the LAX Train project. The other two teams are LAX Connecting Alliance (OHL Infrastructure, Acciona Concesiones, Star America Fund, Aberdeen Global Infrastructure, Axium Infrastructure and Charles Pankow Builders) and LINXS (Fluor Enterprises, Balfour Beatty, Hochtief and ACS Infrastructure Development).

Requests for proposals from the teams are due 8 November, with a preferred bidder expected to be chosen in January.

With around $300 million raised, JLC has been looking for opportunities in the US PPP market. Johnson, who in 2002 was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, has said he plans to deploy millions of dollars in infrastructure in the US and throughout the world.