The new owners of the SH 130 Segment 5 & 6 toll concession south of Austin, Texas, are proceeding quickly to repair large sections of the two-lane, asphalt highway with the goal of completing the work in a year. At that point, USDOT’s TIFIA office proposes to auction the 34% interest in the 50-year concession that it acquired when its project debt was converted to equity in the recent reorganization of the bankrupt toll road company.
The sale of TIFIA’s $600-million equity stake will be among the largest asset auctions in the transportation market. The complexity of the transaction probably will require a change in TIFIA’s approach for procuring deal advisors, which now is based on a flat fee paid to firms selected from among a pool of prequalified experts. Unrelated to TIFIA, UBS was paid $28 million to advise on the sale of the Indiana Toll Road in 2015. That’s well above TIFIA’s pay range now, which falls runs from $150,000 to $250,000 per transaction.