SYDNEY (Reuters) - Toll road operator RiverCity Motorway Ltd, expected to sell for more than A$600 million ($563.22 million), attracted final bids from a group that includes Dutch pension fund manager APG and Australia’s Macquarie Group (MQG.AX), and separately, the global asset management division of Swiss bank UBS AG UBSN.VX, people familiar with the process said.
The bids come as an array of foreign and domestic investors are vying for infrastructure assets in Australia, looking to benefit from stable returns amid a slowing but still relatively strong economy.
Bids are also expected from infrastructure specialist Hastings Funds Management with Spain’s Abertis Infraestructuras SA (ABE.MC) and Queensland Motorways which manages transport infrastructure in the state, people familiar with the matter said.
Access Capital Advisers, a specialist investment manager of infrastructure and alternative assets, is leading the group of three of its clients including APG, bidding alongside Macquarie, a person familiar with the matter said.
A new owner is expected to usher in a period of stability for RiverCity, which operates a tunnel under the Brisbane river. Like some other Australian toll roads, RiverCity collapsed when traffic flow assumptions proved incorrect. Any new buyer has more than three years of traffic data that can be now used to help set its value.
RiverCity was put into voluntary administration in February 2011, with the company’s lenders then putting the company into receivership. The company collapsed owing lenders A$1.34 billion of debt.
Receiver KordaMentha and financial adviser Goldman Sachs (GS.N) are selling RiverCity. KordaMentha will evaluate the bids and the winning party could be announced within a week to 10 days.
Officials with Macquarie, RiverCity, Access Capital, UBS, Queensland Motorways and Hastings declined to comment. Officials with Goldman Sachs and Abertis were not available to comment.
Reporting by Jackie Range; Editing by Matt Driskill