Chicago Skyway lease agreement signed

Press releases

  • A 99-year lease agreement with a total investment of 1.82 billion dollars
  • The project marks Cintra´s entry into the US, a strategic market in the company´s expansion plans
  • Cintra now has 17 toll road concessions in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Chile, Canada and the US. It also operates over 200,000 parking spaces.

Cintra, Ferrovial´s toll-road and car-park concession company, and the City of Chicago have signed the lease agreement for the Chicago Skyway, the first toll road to be privatised in the US. The agreement was signed following the City of Chicago´s unanimous approval and twelve days after Cintra was selected as preferred bidder.

The Skyway marks Cintra´s entry into the USA strategic market in Cintra´s expansion plans. The 99-year lease agreement will involve an investment of 1.82 billion dollars (1.47 billion euros). Cintra has a 55% stake in the winning consortium, while the remaining 45% is owned by Australian group Macquarie. The return on capital considered for this project is over 10%.

According to Juan Béjar, Cintra´s CEO, the transaction is fully coherent with Cintra´s strategic objectives for business expansion. It is a significant investment in a long-term agreement (99 years), in which we own a controlling stake, in the world´s largest economy.

With 9 million inhabitants, Chicago is the US´s third most populous metropolitan area. The Skyway registered nearly 50,000 vehicles per day in 2003.

Excluding 2002 and 2003, when the road was being improved and some lanes were closed, there was 8.8% accumulated growth in traffic between 1993 and 2001. Revenues performed similarly: 9.3% accumulated growth in that period. The lease agreement envisages a progressive increase in tolls as from 2005. From 2017 onwards, tolls will rise annually, equal to the greater of 2%, the increase in CPI, or the increase in nominal GDP per capita.

Cintra manages 17 toll road concessions in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Chile, the US and Canada. It has a 99-year concession for the 407 ETR (Express Toll Route) in Toronto which, with an overall investment of 2.4 billion euros, is Canada´s largest-ever privatisation and the largest investment in a foreign toll road headed by a Spanish group. Cintra also operates over 200,000 parking spaces.


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