Washington D.C. (March 31, 2020) – Ullico Inc. today announced the closing of its investment in Autopistas Metropolitanas de Puerto Rico, LLC ("Metropistas"), the operator of PR-22 and PR-5 toll roads in Puerto Rico under a concession agreement with the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority through September 2061. Ullico acquired the interest in Metropistas from GS Infrastructure Partners II, an investment fund managed by the Merchant Banking Division of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. ("Goldman Sachs"). Abertis Infraestructuras S.A. ("Abertis") will retain the remaining majority interest and continue to operate Metropistas. Abertis is a leading global toll road owner and operator, managing 8,600 km of toll roads in 15 countries.
"Metropistas is a unique asset with a long history of performance and proven resilience to adverse weather and economic events," said Rohit Syal, head of acquisitions for Ullico's infrastructure business. "This is a core-plus infrastructure investment that provides strong value proposition to its customers and an opportunity to partner with a world class toll-road operator."
"Ullico is proud to make its first investment in Puerto Rico in an asset that is critical for the community and the local economy. We hope to build upon this investment and be a long-term community partner for delivering much-needed infrastructure solutions," said Edward M. Smith, President and CEO of Ullico Inc.
"We look forward to working hand in hand with Ullico in order to continue our support of Metropistas, which has demonstrated its ability to grow stronger as a company after every challenge", said José Aljaro, Abertis' CEO and president of Metropistas' Board of Directors, expressing his satisfaction with the new partnership with Ullico.
"We welcome Ullico's capital investment in Metropistas. We believe it reflects the market's confidence in our successful management of highways PR-22 (De Diego Expressway) and PR-5 over the past nine years, and underscores institutional investors' appetite for infrastructure investments in Puerto Rico. With this new investment and the continued support of the Government of Puerto Rico, Metropistas reaffirms its continued commitment to the Island's economic development through important infrastructure projects," said Metropistas' CEO, Julián Fernández.
The transaction is Ullico's first investment in the toll road sector, and second in the transportation industry. The Metropistas business offers a unique opportunity to acquire a transportation asset with demonstrated competitive advantages, high cash flow conversion and a favorable long-term concession agreement supported by a constructive concession framework.
"Metropistas is a proven business that provides a good complement to Ullico's contracted and regulated energy investments and a compelling addition to the core-plus category of the portfolio," said Jeff Murphy, portfolio manager for Ullico's infrastructure business. "We are pleased to further enhance our sectoral and geographic diversification with continuing allocation to such established transportation assets."
Ullico Inc., through its infrastructure business, currently has investments in the water, waste water, electricity transmission, power generation, transportation and gas transmission sectors and is exploring opportunities in all core sectors.
Mayer Brown LLP acted as legal advisor and RBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisor to Ullico. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal advisor and Evercore and Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Division acted as financial advisors to GS Infrastructure Partners II.
For more than 90 years, Ullico has been a proud member of the labor movement, keeping union families safe and secure. From insurance products that protect union members, leaders and employers, to investments in building and infrastructure projects that have created thousands of union jobs, our customers continue to trust us with protecting their families, employees and investments. The Ullico Inc. Family of Companies includes: The Union Labor Life Insurance Company; Ullico Casualty Group, LLC.; Ullico Investment Company, LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC).; and Ullico Investment Advisors, Inc. For additional information, visit www.ullico.com.
Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (MBD) is the primary center for the firm's long-term principal investing activity. MBD is one of the leading private capital investors in the world with investments across private equity, infrastructure, private debt, growth equity and real estate.
Since its inception in 2011, Metropistas has operated highways PR-22 (De Diego Expressway) and PR-5 and is responsible for improving, rehabilitating and developing the roads as well as offering world-class services for its customers. For more details on toll rates, services and progress across various infrastructure projects, please visit: www.metropistas.com