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Polish developer annuls First State’s €147m road deal

Construction firm NDI exercised its pre-emption rights to become the largest shareholder in Poland’s A1 motorway concessionaire.

A €146.9 million deal agreed by First State last year to buy John Laing’s 29.7 percent stake in the concessionaire of Poland’s A1 motorway has been cancelled after Polish construction company NDI exercised its option to purchase the share.

The deal agreed in November would have seen FS Amber Holdings, a subsidiary of First State’s European Diversified Infrastructure Fund II, purchase the share in Gdansk Transport Company for €146.9 million.

However, NDI, which was already a 25 percent shareholder in GTC, has now exercised its pre-emption rights to thwart the deal and instead pay John Laing the same price to take its stake in GTC to about 55 percent. First State declined to comment on the matter.

Days after First State’s original deal with John Laing had been agreed, a joint venture between Dutch fund manager DIF and Swiss Life Asset Managers bought Swedish developer Skanska’s 30 percent stake for €140.8 million.

The remaining 15 percent of GTC is held by Hungarian motorway firm Intertoll Infrastructure Development. The project was financed in two phases worth a total €1.5 billion.