Abertis already enters more than 100 million of its new assets in the United States and Mexico

Abertis already enters more than 100 million of its new assets in the United States and Mexico

The concessionaire increased its income by 2% to 1,069 million euros in the first three months of the year.

Image of the Mexican infrastructure acquired by Abertis.

Abertis has increased its income in the first three months of the year by 2% to 1,069 million euros. Despite the fact that the traffic figures on the roads it manages are still below pre-Covid-19 levels, the new assets in the United States and Mexico already contribute more than 100 million euros to its coffers.

The company closed two major operations across the Atlantic last year. In the first half, the purchase of 53.1% of the Mexican Red de Carreteras de Occidente (RCO) for an amount of 1,521 million euros, and in December 55.2% of the American concessionaire Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) for 585 million euros.

The integration of both assets have improved Abertis’ balance sheet in the first three months of the year. When analyzing the results, the markets of Mexico and the United States have contributed 98 and 19 million euros, respectively, to the income account of the company. Of these, 102 million correspond to RCO and ERC.

In two countries still hit by the pandemic, traffic has only fallen on the roads managed by Abertis by 0.7% in the case of Mexico, and 1.3% in the United States, according to the report presented by the company. Abertis expects traffic levels to improve if restrictions are eased in the coming months.

In the 8,700 kilometers of high-capacity roads managed by Abertis 16 countries in Europe, America and Asia, Americans (except Puerto Rico) have been the best behaved in terms of traffic. Even Argentina (+6.7%) and Chile (+1.1%) have registered increases in this area during the first three months of the year. Numbers very far from those presented in France (-9%), Spain (-19.2%) or Italy (-8.7%).

USA and Mexico

The consortium led by Abertis and Manulife Investment Managementlong-term institutional investor in the infrastructure sector, bought Macquarie Infrastructure Partners II and Skanska their 100% stake in Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC)located in the Hampton Roads region (Virginia, United States).

This operation was closed in December of last year. Abertis has control of the company which, consequently, will consolidate in its accounts and add 13% to its back log of Ebitda.

The acquisition marked the entrance of Abertis in the United States. The Elizabeth River tunnels are located in the Hampton Roads region and are one of the busiest routes in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan area, the company explained at the time.

The concession has a remaining duration of 50 years, until April 2070. The asset is fully built and no relevant investments are foreseen in the future. These infrastructures represent an essential connection across the Elizabeth River and an essential link in the regional surface transportation network that connects Portsmouth and Norfolk, in the State of Virginia.

Consists in two two-way tunnels the Downtown Tunnel and the Midtown Tunnel, as well as the toll-free extension of the Martin Luther King Expressway. All of them operate under the barrier-free electronic toll system.

Tunnels of the Elizabeth River Crossings concession in the United States.

Tunnels of the Elizabeth River Crossings concession in the United States.

In June the consortium formed by Abertis and GICan investment firm that manages Singapore’s foreign reserves, closed the purchase of a 72.3% stake in Western Highway Network (RCO), one of the largest highway operators in Mexico. The agreement had been reached in October 2019.

Specifically, the Abertis-GIC duo took over the 70% that was in the hands of Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners (GSIP) and an additional 2.3% from investors and managers of Mexican pension funds (Administradoras de Fondos para el Retiro, or AFORES), minority shareholders of the company.

RCO controls five concessionaires that add 876 kilometers total. Its network of eight highways is one of the most important in Mexico and forms the road backbone in the center-west region, connecting the country’s main industrial corridor, El Bajío, with the two largest cities, Mexico City and Guadalajara.

Abertis RCO.

Abertis RCO.

Ellsworth Weber