Canada Pension Plan Investment Boards Partial Owner of Toronto’s Highway 407

Update:

see the story in The Canadian Press

If you recall, Canadian Highways International (CHIC), was the company that built Highway 407, at a cost of $930 million dollars to Ontario taxpayers, in an agreement created under the Provincial government in the early 90’s.

Toronto’s privately run Highway 407, which the Ontario government leased out in 1999, for 99 years, has been partially purchased by the investment arm (Canada Pension Plan Investment Board or CPPIB) of the Canada Pension Plan.

Highway 407 stretches 108 kilometres from Queen Elizabeth Way near Burlington, Ont., on a northeastern path that skirts Toronto and reaches Pickering in the east.

More than 375,000 trips are taken on the world’s first lucrative all-electronic, open-access toll highway on an average workday.

During the first half of 2010, traffic on the 407 increased by six (6) per cent compared to the same period last year. It set a new traffic volume record this June when its use reached 454,275 vehicles in one day.

CPPIB is moving in with an $894 million offer to purchase the stake from Cintra, after SNC-Lavalin Inc. turned down the opportunity.

The pension fund manager is also indirectly buying an additional 30 per cent stake in the highway through a $3.2-billion takeover of Australian toll operator Intoll Group, formerly Macquarie Infrastructure Group.

Securityholders of the group, formerly Macquarie Infrastructure Group, approved a $3.2-billion takeover by CPPIB with 95 per cent of votes cast at a meeting favouring the deal.

That transaction is scheduled to close as of December 14, 2010. CPPIB is expected to remake Intoll Group into a private company.

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