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Sanef drives €147m towards French road network

The firm’s agreement with the French government comes just a few days after it received a €491m investment from majority shareholder Abertis.

French highway operator Sanef has agreed to inject €147 million into a series of French roads as part of a partnership with the government.

Sanef’s investment is expected to see an upgrade of the French road network concentrating on safety, traffic fluidity, environmental sustainability and the quality of service. Construction of junctions and an increase in parking spaces will also form part of the programme.

The company said the investment will be financed through an increase in tariffs of between 0.27 percent and 0.40 percent on two of its roads. Sanef operates more than 1,760km of toll roads in France, representing 22 percent of the country’s entire network.

Following the deal, the company praised the French government for “commitment to public-private partnerships” and its encouragement for private investment. Sanef was embroiled in a lengthy court process with the previous French government in 2011 when it challenged – and subsequently lost – a €2 billion contract given to rival bidder Atlantia for a satellite-based tolling system.

The investment programme agreed by the government and Sanef arrives just a few days after its Spanish majority shareholder Abertis increased its holding from 52.55 percent to 63.07 percent in a deal worth €491 million.