Marguerite fund in debut road deal

The European Union-focused infrastructure fund paid €24.5m for a 45% stake in a shadow toll road in Spain, described as ‘an important North-South corridor in Spain’. Marguerite has so far invested over €100m across four projects.

The Marguerite Fund, the European Union-focused infrastructure fund backed by six European public financial institutions, has waded into the transportation arena for the first time with its fourth investment – the acquisition of a 45 percent stake in a Spanish highway project.

Spanish developer Sacyr Vallehermoso, previously the owner of 95 percent of the A1 Santo Tome del Puerto-Burgos shadow toll project, has sold a 45 percent stake in the asset to Marguerite for an enterprise value of €106.6 million. That figure breaks down into €82.4 million of debt and an equity consideration of €24.5 million.

The project, described as “an important North-South corridor in Spain connecting Madrid with the regions of Cantabria, Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarra, as well as with France via Irun”, was awarded to Sacyr in 2007 under a 19-year concession agreement. Following the sale, Sacyr will still retain a 50 percent stake in the project with the remaining 5 percent held by one of its subsidiaries.

For Marguerite, its first toll road deal marks a break with the renewable projects it has been acquiring in France and Belgium. In May, the fund announced the purchase of part of EDF Energy Nouvelle’s Massangis ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) project in France, a 36-megawatt plant. 

Previously, Marguerite had bought into a 325-megawatt offshore wind project in Belgium and a 115-megawatt photovoltaic project near Nancy, in north-east France. Both projects were also sourced from EDF Energy Nouvelles.

In total, Marguerite, which hopes to close on €1.5 billion sometime this year, has invested over €100 million across these four projects. 

The infrastructure fund held a first close on €710 million in March 2010, backed by the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the European Investment Bank, Instituto de Crédito Oficial, KfW and PKO Bank Polski.