Brookfield to take stake in Abertis/OHL deal

By Chris Sleight10 August 2012

Contractor OHL has finalised details of its acquisition of 15% of Spanish infrastructure operator Abertis. The deal will see OHL exchange its 60% holding in subsidiary OHL Brazil for the stake, in a deal valued at US$ 1.7 billion - US$ 1.1 billion in equity and US$ 600 million in assumed liabilities.

In a connected development, Abertis has formed a 51:49 joint venture with US investment company Brookfield infrastructure to acquire and own the controlling stake in OHL Brazil. According to Brookfield, the two companies may launch a tender offer to acquire the remaining 40% of OHL Brazil, which is currently traded on the Sâo Paulo stock exchange. Brookfield says its initial investment will be US$ 250 million, but this may rise should the tender offer go ahead.

According to OHL, the deal will see Abertis and OHL Brazil's activities in Brazil merged. These include some 3200 km of toll roads currently owned and operated by OHL Brazil, and this will take Abertis' global portfolio to some 7,000 km of road. This will make it the largest toll road operator in the world.

A statement from OHL said, "From a strategic standpoint, this has realised OHL's mature assets in Brazil, crystallising value atan optimal time, and allowing the company to become an industrial partner and shareholder of a world leader in concessions."

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