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DIF acquires shadow toll road in Spain

by Jody Barhanovich

DIF, through its DIF Infrastructure IV, has acquired 45 percent of the shares in Autovía de Aragon, a shadow toll road linking the Madrid city center with Barajas airport, from OHL Concesiones.

In addition to DIF’s share, OHL will maintain its position as a significant industrial partner in Autovia de Aragon. TYPSA, a leading consulting engineering firm, will retain its 5 percent share in the company.

Autovia de Aragon is one of the main road accesses to Madrid and one of the alternatives that links the city center and the airport. The road is located in one of the most urbanized and industrial corridors linking Madrid’s urban center with Guadalajara. The 19-year concession started in 2007, (with end date December 2026) and operates the first section of the A-2 Motorway, which is the main connection between the cities of Madrid and Barcelona.

Autovia de Aragon is DIF’s first road investment in Spain following the acquisition of 6 PPP projects in other sectors. Long-term financing is in place and provided by EIB, FMSW and ICO (Instituto de Crédito Oficial).

DIF Infrastructure IV launched in July 2015 and held a final closing in September 2015 at €1.15 billion ($1.28 billion), exceeding the target of €1 billion ($1.1 billion). The fund invests in public private partnership projects (PPP/PFI/P3), regulated assets, renewable energy projects and other infrastructure assets with similar characteristics and risk/return profiles that provide long-term stable cash-flows with minimal commercial risk.

The fund targets both greenfield and operational projects, which combined in the fund portfolio leads to attractive returns and immediate cash yield to investors. Target regions are Western Europe, North America and Australasia.

The fund’s predecessor, DIF Infrastructure III closed with €800 million ($896 million) and has 56 investments.

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