Indiana Toll Road Acquired by Australian Fund-Management Firm
Australia’s IFM Investors has agreed to pay $5.73 billion to buy the bankrupt U.S. operator of the Indiana Toll Road (ITR), a 157-mile, limited access, divided highway in the state of Indiana. Melbourne-headquartered IFM Investors, which is owned by 30 Australian pension funds, says the purchase of ITR Concession Co. LLC (ITRCC) gives its investors “access to core infrastructure.”
The ITR spans northern Indiana, from its border with Ohio to the Illinois state line near Chicago, feeding directly into two toll roads at the state lines—the Chicago Skyway in the west and the Ohio Turnpike in the east. The remainder of the road is inter-urban, providing a principal link between Chicago and the East Coast.
The acquisition agreement requires ITRCC to operate and maintain the road and grants it the exclusive right to collect toll revenues from the toll road during the term of the Concession Agreement, which has a remaining life of 66 years.
“We believe this is a unique opportunity to invest in a high quality United States transportation infrastructure asset,” says Julio Garcia, head of infrastructure–North America at IFM Investors in New York.
“[As] an essential operating asset for its strategic geographical position, long concession duration and inflation- and GDP-linked tolling regime, [Indiana Toll Road] is strategically important to the North American transportation network,” Garcia continues. “We are committed to maintaining the asset to a high standard that provides maximum availability and usability for customers.”
In addition to its Melbourne headquarters, IFM Investors maintains offices in Sydney, New York, London, Berlin and Tokyo. The fund manager currently oversees $43 billion in investments in a number of global projects in the energy, natural gas, telecommunications, transportation, water, and waste-water infrastructure sectors.