Pennsylvania Gov: Citi bids $12.8 billion for Turnpike

NEW YORK Mon May 19, 2008 1:43pm EDT

The Citigroup sign is seen outside the Citigroup Center in New York, October 1, 2007. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The Citigroup sign is seen outside the Citigroup Center in New York, October 1, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A group led by Citigroup (C.N) offered $12.8 billion to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike and take over its operation and maintenance, though the deal still needs the legislature's approval, Gov. Ed Rendell said on Monday.

Rendell called the offer by Citi a "slam dunk" because it will raise $150 million a year to improve transportation and allow Pennsylvania to drop plans to get motorists who drive on Interstate 80 to pay tolls for the first time.

"Citigroup is probably as American an institution as you can find," Rendell told reporters, noting questions had been raised about foreign companies that sought to participate.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

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