PGGM has bought a minority interest in a French toll road operator from Macquarie’s European infrastructure fund.
The stake, in Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhône (APRR), gives the Dutch asset manager exposure to France ahead of an economic recovery.
“We expect APRR to benefit from France’s economic recovery in coming years,” Henk Huizing, head of infrastructure at PGGM said. “This asset provides robust inflation-linked yield profile, which is an excellent match with our clients’ pension liabilities.”
APPR’s network, added Huizing, gives it “a pivotal role” in traffic flows in western Europe and France for trade and tourism.
Macquarie, in a joint venture with French developer Eiffage, bought a 13.7% stake in mid-2010 in a €854m deal. Macquarie’s Atlas Roads, European Infrastructure and European Infrastructure Fund II became shareholders in APPR.
According to APPR’s annual report for 2013, the firm’s revenues rose to €2.4bn, resulting in profits of €442m.With a network of 2,264 km of operating motorway, APPR is Europe’s fourth largest toll road operator.
The network includes the Paris-Lyon route (A5, A6 and A39), the Burgundy-Northern Europe route (A31, A36), Alpine motorways in the Rhône-Alpes region (A40, A41, A42, A43, A48, A49 and A51 Nord), as well as motorways in central France (A77 and A71).
PGGM said it had invested significant amounts in other European road assets in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Ireland through partnerships with Royal BAM and Globalvia.
In June last year, PGGM and BAM PPP jointly acquired 50% of concessional rights for the management and maintenance of a 52km stretch of motorway in Germany.