Toll road operator Atlas Arteria Group said on Tuesday it had entered into an agreement to acquire a 66.67% stake in Chicago Skyway for an equity value of $2.01 billion.
Chicago Skyway is a 12.5-km (7.8-mile) toll road that connects the Indiana Toll Road to the Dan Ryan Expressway on Chicago’s South Side, and has 81 years of remaining concession life, the Melbourne-based toll roads operator said.
The deal establishes a partnership between Atlas and Canadian pension fund manager Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which will retain its 33.33% interest in Chicago Skyway. Atlas owns other toll roads in the United States, as well as France and Germany.
Fund manager IFM Investors, which owns a nearly 20% stake in Atlas, in a letter sent on Monday said it would consider all legal options available, including seeking an “accelerated board transition” if Atlas progresses with Chicago Skyway acquisition.
“It is clear that the company does not have the support of its major shareholders, IFM GIF (Global Infrastructure Fund) included, in relation to the pursuit of a large equity-funded acquisition, if that acquisition would be dilutive or otherwise destroy shareholder value,” IFM Investors said in a letter addressed to Atlas Chair Debbie Goodin.
Atlas did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.