Investors line-up for Indiana toll road deal

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Investors line-up for Indiana toll road deal

Some of the world's largest infrastructure investors are teaming up to bid for the operator of the Indiana Toll Road (ITR Concession Co LLC) that filed for bankruptcy last month, according to sources.

The operator of the toll road, which is owned by subsidiaries of Australia's Macquarie Group and Spain's Ferrovial, has proposed selling itself to the highest bidder in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy to raise money to pay down $6-billion in debt. Alternatively, the company could pursue a debt restructuring. The operator had filed for bankruptcy last September.

ITR has filed what is known as a prepackaged bankruptcy, already approved by the majority of creditors.

Later this month, ITR will seek approval of its plan from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago. If positive, the plan will be binding on creditors who did not vote in favour.

According to sources, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has joined Ferrovial's toll road operator Cintra and Canadian investment manager Brookfield Asset Management to bid for the asset.

Australia's Hastings Funds Management has teamed up with the California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers) and Italian toll road operator Autostrade Meridionali SpA.

Spanish infrastructure operator Abertis Infraestructuras SA has teamed up with Borealis, the infrastructure investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.

Australian infrastructure fund manager IFM Investors is also leading its own consortium, according to these sources.

Other companies known to be interested in the asset are Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).

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%.  The contract has a period of 75 years.

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.

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