The private company that operates the Indiana Toll Road, in the United States, has filed for bankruptcy after collapsing under $US5.8 billion of debt. The contract has a period of 75 years.
The State of Indiana leased the Indiana Toll Road to Spain's Cintra and Australia's Macquarie Group Ltd. for $3.8 billion in 2006. Macquarie Infrastructure Partners owns 25% of the project, Macquarie Atlas Roads controls 25% and Cintra, the road's operator, holds 50%.
Most of the major banks who originally lent money to the Cintra-Macquarie consortium have sold their debt on the secondary market. According to sources Hedge funds and distressed debt investors, such as Strategic Value Partners and King Street Capital Management, hold about 80% of the original $US5.8 billion of debt.
IFA Director Kendra York said ITRCC will continue to manage the toll road throughout the bankruptcy process. It is expected that the toll road lease will be put up for sale to gauge interest from potential buyers.
Gov. Mike Pence stated:
The IFA (Indiana Finance Authority) has been aware of negotiations between the operator and its lenders, so we anticipated this could be a possibility. But, people from Indian can expect business as usual on the Indiana Toll Road.
Toll Road Oversight Director Jim McGoff commented:
This is really a situation between the operator and the lender and will really have little, if any, impact on people from Indiana. The US$3.8 billion has been invested in more than 80 major moves projects throughout the state. So, any risk to people from Indiana has been greatly mitigated.
The Indiana Toll Road, officially the Indiana East-West Toll Road, runs for 251.51 km east-west across northern Indiana from the Illinois state line to the Ohio state line. It is part of the Interstate Highway System of the USA.
Traffic volumes on the road have failed to live up to forecasts since 2006. Furthermore lingering effects of the 2008 recession and opening of a nearby competitor freeway have caused a decline in gross profit.