The Government proposes to assume 50% of the debt of the bankrupt toll roads to rescue them

The Government proposes to assume 50% of the debt of the bankrupt toll roads to rescue them

  • This has been proposed by representatives of the Ministry of Development and the Ministry of Finance to the six large banks in a meeting.
  • The proposal is to constitute the new national company of toll roads with the ten toll roads in bankruptcy.
  • This public company would only recognize to the bank about 2,400 million euros of the total debt of 4,600 million euros that add these infrastructures.
  • The toll radial collapse when not getting enough traffic from the highways.
Autopista de peaje Radial 5

Indicative posters of the Radial 5 of Madrid. FCC

The Government has offered to the banking creditor of the concessionaire companies of ten toll motorways with economic problems a reduction of something more than 50% (about 2,400 million euros) of the debt, amounting to 4,600 million euros , and the creation of a company with one hundred percent public capital to join these channels.

According to sources close to the negotiations, the proposal of the Ministries of Development and Finance to the six main financial entities involved in this process also includes creating a securitization fund that will issue 30-year bonds with a minimum return of 1%, a percentage that will also depend on the traffic of these roads.

The objective of this plan, which this Tuesday has advanced the newspaper La Vanguardia , is to avoid that the solution to the insolvency that these highways present affects the public deficit. The affected banks, BBVA, Santander, Bankia, CaixaBank, Banc Sabadell and Banco Popular, are expected to respond to this proposal before next Monday .

The constitution of this company would add to 22% of the total toll road network The constitution of this company would add 22% of the total toll road network and is the best solution to face a problem that should minimize the impact in the public deficit and avoid the declaration of State aid, point out the same sources.

Initially the Government had proposed to the concessionaires and the creditor banks the creation of a public and private partnership. Based on this initial idea, the residual value of these concessions would represent 20% of the company’s capital, which could be valued at more than 600 million euros, while the remaining 80% would be controlled by the State Infrastructure Corporation. Land Transport (Seittsa), a distribution that at first did not please all parties. This is the case of construction companies and concessionaires, who even claimed a 49% stake.

In addition, within the framework of the negotiations, Fomento did not refuse to even apply to these highways in bankruptcy to liquidation , a process that they recognized as being long and uncertain although not necessarily more expensive.

For its part, from Seopan , the employer association of large construction companies and now toll dealers, considered that the liquidation of these toll roads damaged the image of Spain, closed the national market to domestic and foreign investments and led to legal disputes lasting several years. Therefore, they demanded the creation of a public concession company to integrate ten toll roads as the least burdensome option.

From Seopan it became clear that companies have already lost 100% of their capital Also, from Seopan it became clear that companies have already lost 100% of their capital (1,799 million euros) and that shareholders have disbursed 3,491 million real. All this together with the increase of 1,830 million euros in expropriation costs in non-urbanizable rural land.

The four radial highways of Madrid projected during the government of José María Aznar (1996-2004) were declared bankrupt, pressured by a joint debt of 1,700 million euros and a fall in traffic that exceeds 48% from the maximum that recorded in 2007, before the crisis. Next to the radial R-2, R-3, R-4 and R-5 and the Airport Axis, the AP-41, which connects Madrid and Toledo; the AP-36, which runs between Ocaña (Toledo) and La Roda (Albacete); and Cartagena (Murcia) and Vera (Almería) were also doomed to the contest.

Bankrupt toll roads

  • Freeway AP-41 (Madrid-Toledo). This highway, which opened in December 2006, was the first to declare bankruptcy in May 2012 after dragging a debt of 530 million euros (380 to banks and 150 to expropriated owners). Its owners include companies such as Isolux, Comsa, Sando and Azvi and Banco Espírito Santo.
  • Radial 4 (Madrid-Ocaña). The radial highway R-4 was declared in voluntary bankruptcy in October 2012. Inversora of Autopistas del Sur and Autopista Madrid Sur, the concessionaire companies could not cope with the debt of 575 million euros . The construction companies Cintra-Ferrovial and Sacyr and the former Caja Castilla-La Mancha are behind these companies. Between January and September 2013, this radial decreased its traffic by 16.4% (to 4,949 vehicles per day).
  • Radial 3 (Madrid-Arganda) and Radial 5 (Madrid-Navalcarnero). The company Accessos de Madrid, concessionaire of the R-3 and R-5 (participated by the construction companies Abertis, Sacyr and ACS), was declared in voluntary bankruptcy days after doing the R-4 in order to refinance the debt of 666 million euros contracted with banks . The R-5 (Madrid-Navalcarnero) had lost 14.7% of users between January and September 2013, up to 6,957 vehicles per day. The R-3, on the other hand, fell 6.8% in that same period and added up to 9,719 users per day.
  • Radial 2 (Madrid-Guadalajara). Henarsa, concessionaire company of the R-2, was declared in voluntary bankruptcy in September 2013 after accumulating a financial debt of 450 million euros . This concessionaire is owned by Abertis, ACS, Acciona and Globalvía ​​FCC and Bankia. It is the highway that lost more traffic in 2013, by 22.5%, until posting a daily average of 4,588 vehicles.
  • Freeway AP-36 Ocaña-La Roda. The concessionaire – managed by Ferrovial, Sacyr and Kutxa – entered the voluntary creditors’ contest in December 2012 – after requesting it in October – as it was unable to meet the 522 million euro passive that it held and that expired at the end of that year . Traffic on this highway fell by 9.8% in 2013, to 2,802 cars per day.
  • Circunvalación of Alicante. It was declared bankrupt in the summer of 2013. The concessionaire Ciralsa thus recognized its insolvency situation by declaring a liability of more than 400 million euros . Its traffic in 2013 had decreased by 7.3% (to 5,293 transits per day).
  • Highway AP-7 Cartagena-Vera. The lack of traffic – in 2013 decreased by 3%, to 2,737 daily users -, added to the financial problems due to the impossibility of paying interest and the extra costs for works and expropriations led to Aucosta, the concessionaire of this highway -participated by Ploder, Globalvía ​​(FCC and Bankia), Unicaja, BMN and CAM- to declare bankruptcy in February 2013 with a liability of 550 million euros.
  • Alicante-Cartagena AP-7 motorway. Ausur, the company that operates the infrastructure, has not yet declared bankruptcy despite the significant debt it has with the banking consortium – Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank, Bankia, Sabadell and Popular – which granted it a loan of 210 million of euros . Banks believe that the only solution is through nationalization, but Ausur shareholders are trying to renegotiate the debt. The highway reached its maximum traffic in 2007, with 20,410 vehicles, and has been losing users until reaching the 17,000.
  • Highway Axis Airport M-12 . This route, of which the OHL group is 100% owner, has been declared bankrupt in January of this year, with a debt of some 550 million euros.


Do you see well that the Government assumes half of the debt of the bankrupt toll roads to rescue them?

Yes, it is necessary to keep infrastructures in operation, which construction was expensive.
4.2% (98 votes)
No, they are not used very much and it means a lot of public money for their rescue.
71.98% (1680 votes)
It would only have to rescue the most used ones and encourage their use with lower toll prices.
23.82% (556 votes)
see survey