(Bloomberg) -- The owner of Australia’s second-busiest toll road has kicked off the sale of a majority stake in what could be one of the country’s biggest deals this year.
Horizon Roads Pty Ltd. is offering as much as 55.45% of ConnectEast Group, which holds a concession to operate the the 39-kilometer (24.2 miles) EastLink toll road in southeast Melbourne until 2043, according to a document seen by Bloomberg News.
The seller is seeking to raise about A$2 billion to A$2.5 billion ($1.3 billion to $1.7 billion) in the stake sale, according to a person familiar with the matter. A deal could value the entire toll road business at as much as A$7 billion including debt, the person said.
RBC Capital Markets is the sole financial adviser to Horizon Roads, the document shows. Considerations are at an early stage and details including price and valuation could still change, the person said, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. A representative for RBC declined to comment, while representatives for Horizon Roads and ConnectEast Group didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Any deal for the road could either mark yet deeper consolidation of the closely held sector or offer investors a chance to tap into assets that generate steady cash flows. At A$2.5 billion, the potential stake sale could be among Australia’s biggest deals in 2023, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Eastlink serves about 40% of Melbourne’s population and records around 250,000 vehicles per day drive along it, including 50,000 commercial vehicles, according to the document. Horizon Roads is an investment vehicle set up by fund manager CP2 Ltd. that took ConnectEast private in 2011. Other investors include Dutch pension asset manager APG, Denmark’s ATP and New Zealand Superannuation Fund.
Australian toll-road operator Transurban Group is interested in buying a stake in Eastlink, its Chief Executive Officer Scott Charlton said in an interview last month.
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