IFM Investors has pulled out of the bidding process for a majority stake in Portugal’s largest toll road operator Brisa, sources said.
The Australian investor was bidding through its motorway operator Aleatica for the Portuguese road concessions. Arcus Infrastructure Partners and José de Mello are each selling a 40% stake in the concessions.
IFM filed an initial offer for a stake of up to 80% in Brisa, which operates 1,525km of roads across Portugal. It was initially told it was shortlisted but has now decided against continuing in the bidding process, according to two people familiar with the situation.
One of the sources said IFM was concerned partly due to the proposed valuations for Brisa, which could go as high as EUR 6bn or some 10 times its annual EBITDA, despite an average duration of its concessions of about 15 years.
Uncertainty over the timeline for the process was another concern, said the sources, adding that the sellers are expected to request final offers by the end of March but are yet to pick a date.
IFM’s Aleatica is instead focusing on bilateral talks to buy a controlling stake in the EUR 2.4bn BreBeMi toll road in northern Italy. The group is in exclusive negotiations with Intesa Sanpaolo to buy the Italian banking group’s shares in the 62km road concession.