Wednesday 25 April 2018

Sacyr sells off 45pc share in M50 operator

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Spanish construction giant Sacyr has sold its stake in the company that won the almost €1bn contract to upgrade and manage the M50 motorway outside Dublin.

Sacyr is selling its 45pc stake in M50 Concession Ltd to Dutch investor DIF Infrastructure for €125.2m.

The M50 road contract was awarded back in 2007 to a consortium of Irish firm PJ Hegarty, Sacyr and Global Via Infraestructuras.

They are paid a set fee to manage the road for the National Roads Authority under a deal until 2042.

The 35-year contract included overseeing a four-year upgrade of the M50 that involved widening the road from four lanes to six and removal of traditional, traffic slowing, toll booths.

That work was completed in 2010 and the contract now covers ongoing maintenance. It also stipulates that the road must be handed back to the State in good enough order that it will not require a further upgrade over the following decade.

Unlike other tolled routes the tolls paid by motorists are paid to a state-controlled company, not to the M50 operators, who are paid their set fees by the National Roads Authority.

A report in Spain's 'El Pais' newspaper said the sale was part of an ongoing process by Sacyr to reduce debts, but the company has indicated it is interested in looking at new infrastructure projects here.

A stake in the loss-making M6 motorway project in Galway where Sacry and PJ Hegarty are also investors is not affected by the sale.

There are nine tolled roads altogether across the country. Four are loss-making – the M6, N25 Waterford bypass, M3 in Meath and the Limerick Tunnel.

In the case of the M50 the operators are paid a fee, rather than a profit share.

Irish Independent

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