Ohio receives 14 responses for turnpike consultant

KPMG, Macquarie, Greenhill, BMO, William Blair, RBC, and Morgan Stanley were among the groups that showed interest in advising the state on the potential privatisation of the Ohio Turnpike.

Fourteen groups have shown interest in advising Ohio on a potential privatisation of the 241-mile Ohio Turnpike.

Macquarie Capital, Morgan Stanley, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, advisory firm Public Financial Management, as well as investment bank Greenhill & Co and consultancy KPMG were among the respondents to a request for letters of interest issued by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) earlier this month.

ODOT now has the authority to lease the Turnpike thanks to a provision in the two-year, $56 billion state budget that Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich signed on 30 June. The advisor will assist ODOT in determining the value of a potential Turnpike lease, as well as developing a request for proposals and a process by which to select the final bidder, according to the request for letters of interest.

Responses to the request for letters of interest were due on Thursday 24 August. An OBM spokesperson said the following groups responded to the request:

-BMO Capital Markets
-Citigroup Global Markets
-Greenhill & Co.
-Ice Miller
-KPMG Corporate Finance
-Lazard Freres & Co.
-Macquarie Capital
-Moelis & Company
-Morgan Stanley
-Public Financial Management
-RBC Capital Markets
-Seel Jackson Consulting
-UBS Investment Bank
-William Blair & Company
    Ohio expects to shortlist respondents by 2 September, according to the request for letters of interest, but the state has not given a deadline for choosing the final consultant.

    At a press conference following the 30 June budget signing, Kasich said the Turnpike lease could help the state to make “desperately” needed infrastructure investments. He has previously estimated that the lease of the Turnpike – which had 2010 toll revenues of $232.5 million – could net the state about $2.5 billion.

    The Ohio state legislature will be required to approve any request for proposals for a lease of the Turnpike, but final bids will not require the legislature’s approval, an ODOT spokesperson previously told Infrastructure Investor.