Ferrovial, through subsidiary Cintra Infraestructuras, has achieved financial closure for the Interstate 77 concession in Charlotte, North Carolina. Investment is estimated at 648 million dollars (around 581 million euro). Closure comes after the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) selected the bid presented by the I-77 Mobility Partners consortium, in March 2014.
To cover the investment, on 13 May, Citibank, acting as lead arranger, priced a total of 100 million dollars in private activity bonds (PAB), which are tax-exempt and pay a 4.55% profitability. Of that total, 7 million dollars mature between 2026 and 2030, 13 million in 2037 and 80 million in 2054. The issue was 5-times oversubscribed.
Additionally, on 19 May, a TIFIA loan amounting to 189 million dollars was closed, maturing in 2053. The NCDOT contributed 94.7 million dollars. The total debt (PABs and TIFIA) was assigned a BBB- rating by Fitch Ratings and BBB by DBRS.
New managed lanes in the US
The 50-year concession starts from the date the infrastructure opens to traffic, which is scheduled for 2018. Cintra will develop this project, while the design and construction will be undertaken by a joint venture comprising Ferrovial Agroman and US construction company W.C. English. The design includes widening 26 miles (41.3 km) of highway in both directions on the I-77 in the northern part of the Charlotte metropolitan area, between connections with the I-277 in Charlotte and the NC-150 in Iredell County. The project is divided into three sections, and the existing road will be rebuilt, increasing its capacity by creating managed lanes (with variable electronic tolls) to improve traffic flow. This is Cintra's fourth managed lanes project in the US.
This initiative will enhance traffic conditions in one of the fastest-growing areas and will strengthen opportunities for economic development and local employment.
This contract will bring Cintra's total investment in the US to close to 8,162.8 million euro. Cintra is one of the world’s leading private sector developers of transportation infrastructure in terms of the number of projects and the volume of investment. It currently manages 2,000 kilometres of toll roads in 26 concessions in Canada, the US and Europe. Cintra is the largest shareholder in the 407 ETR concessionaire, in Ontario, Canada, with a stake of 43.23%.