Wednesday 16 October 2019

€1bn Limerick Tunnel and Fermoy bypass stakes bought

The Limerick Tunnel opened in 2010 and the concession runs until 2041.
The Limerick Tunnel opened in 2010 and the concession runs until 2041.
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

UK private equity group 3i and Portugal's TIIC have acquired major stakes in the Fermoy bypass and the Limerick Tunnel.

The pieces of infrastructure cost almost €1bn to build.

The pair have bought a 75pc equity interest in Directroute (Fermoy) Holdings, the company behind in a 17.5km tolled stretch of the M8 Cork-Dublin motorway between Fermoy and Watergrasshill.

They have also bought a 50pc interest in Directroute (Limerick) Holdings, which owns the tolled Limerick Tunnel on the M18 Limerick Southern Ring Road.

Both the pieces of infrastructure were built as public-private partnerships. The Fermoy bypass cost €295m to build. The Limerick Tunnel cost €660m.

The Fermoy section of road was wholly owned by a consortium including Austria's Strabag, US firm KBR, Sisk, Lagan, Roadbridge and AIB. The Limerick Tunnel was also wholly owned all those entities except AIB and KBR.

The sellers were advised by Rubicon Capital Advisors.

The Fermoy section of road opened in 2006 and the concession contract runs until 2034.

The Limerick Tunnel opened in 2010 and the concession runs until 2041.

Accounts for Directroute (Fermoy) show that it made a €7.1m pre-tax profit in 2017 on turnover of €16.5m.

In the same year, Directroute (Limerick) made a loss of €7.6m on turnover of €23m.

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