Australian Company B&B to buy stake in Thai Tollway Company

By NNN-Bernama

Melbourne : Investment firm Babcock & Brown Ltd (B&B) plans to acquire a large stake in an unlisted tollroad operator in Thailand for up to A$130 million, it is reported.

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B&B has entered into an agreement to buy a 28 percent to 33 percent in Don Muang Tollway plc (DMT), pending a tender of existing shares and a private placement of new shares, the Australian Associated Press said.

“The acquisition … will represent an investment of approximately $110 million to $130 million,” B&B said.

“It is intended the investment will be acquired by one or more of Babcock & Brown’s managed wholesale funds at or prior to financial close.”

B&B has agreed to acquire the existing shares from shareholders DMT, which operates a 21 kilometre elevated tollway in Thailand .

“Some notable shareholders in DMT include, the Ministry of Finance, the Phanichewa family, a local Thai bank and other international investors,” it said.

B&B global head of infrastructure Peter Hofbauer said the acquisition would give the firm an entry point into the Asian infrastructure sector, and a platform to acquire and develop other tollroads in Thailand and in the region.

B&B has been active in Asia for nearly 20 years and has 167 infrastructure professionals in the Asia Pacific region.

“Through its local presence combined with its expertise and relationships in the infrastructure sector globally, Babcock & Brown is well positioned to capitalise on the increasing number of infrastructure investment opportunities in the Asian region,” Hofbauer is quoted as sying.

The transaction, which depend’s on the response of DMT’s shareholders to the share tender, is set to be completed on Nov 27.

DMT’s asset is an elevated six-lane toll road running from the centre of Bangkok to the northern suburb which leads to Rangsit.