Transurban ramps up North America focus with new board

10 October 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Australia’s Transurban signalled a renewed interest in North America, saying today that it has set up a senior executive panel to advise it on expansion opportunities.


“The advisory board reflects our commitment to exploring future growth opportunities in North America and brings together leaders with policy, political and practical expertise,” Chairman Lindsay Maxsted told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting in Melbourne.


“The advisory board will then engage with local US management and the main Transurban board to provide us with a further independent lens on our operations and opportunities in the US and Canada,” Maxsted said.


The four-member board includes Adrian Chapman, chief executive of WGL Holdings Inc and Washington Gas, Matt Rose, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company, and Transurban’s president of North America, Jennifer Aument.


Maxsted said is still seeking the final member who will be based in Montreal to cover its move into that city, which started with the USD 1.2bn acquisition of the A25 tollroad there in June 2018.


Transurban CEO Scott Charlton – also speaking at the AGM – said that the company continues to seek further investment opportunities in North America, including in connection to its existing toll roads in Maryland and Virginia around Washington DC.


“We continue to monitor the evolution of the Express Lanes program in Maryland and assess other long-term opportunities in our target markets of Maryland, Virginia and Montreal,” he said.


At an investor briefing in April, the company said it had decided not to bid for the I-495/I-270 Managed Lanes project in the US because political opposition to the PPP had escalated.


In Australia, Charlton said today the Western Harbour Tunnel project that will link into WestConnex – 51% of which a Transurban-led consortium bought last year – is of great interest.


Citi, EY and Ashurst are working on a scoping study for the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link project, which will see a second harbour tunnel built as well as a new motorway to Sydney’s Northern Beaches.


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