Aus & NZ: CIMIC drops out of WestConnex race

12 June 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Spanish contractor CIMIC pulled out of bidding for a 51% share of WestConnex owner, Sydney Motorway Corporation, on Friday (8 June), it is understood.

The company was in discussions with at least one Canadian equity investor in recent weeks following rumours the Netflow consortium of Plenary and Cintra had pulled out of bidding for the AUD 16.8bn (USD 12.8bn) motorway.

Sources familiar said Canadian fund OMERs Infrastructure Management was among those in talks with CIMIC.

But CIMIC did not gather enough equity investors to back its bid for the massive and complex project.

Two sources familiar say the Netflow consortium decided at least a month ago not to go ahead after several Canadian funds it was lined up with pulled out.

A spokesperson for Netflow did not return calls.

CIMIC declined to comment.

Consortia led by IFM Investors and Transurban are still in the race, although Transurban’s bid is being examined by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The regulator has said it is concerned if Transurban wins the sale, its dominance in toll roads in Australia could hurt competition in the sector.

The ACCC is due to give its views on 19 July. Transurban’s Sydney Transport Consortium includes AustralianSuper, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Tawreed Investments Limited.

Investors linked to IFM include SunSuper.