John Laing sees expanding portfolio

Investor John Laing has reported a P3 investment pipeline of £1.56bn ($2.01bn) as the company saw a promising end to the first half of the year.

Net asset value at the group rose from £1.12bn ($1.44bn) at the end of 2017 to £1.5bn ($1.93bn) on June 30 2018, with pre-tax profit also increasing from £126m ($162.6m) to £174.3m ($224.9m) for the same period.

North America is considered the top destination for P3 equity investment, with an estimated £641m ($827m) compared to £466m ($601m) in Europe and £460m ($593m) in the Asia Pacific as at June 30.

Representing a total potential investment opportunity of approximately £325m ($419m), the group is currently shortlisted for 12 P3s and concessions including the Gordie Howe International Bridge, the LAX CONRAC, Belle Chasse and the I-10 Mobile River Bridge in North America, with the Silvertown Tunnel in the UK.

Chief executive officer Olivier Brousse said: “John Laing is growing as an international expert investor in greenfield infrastructure, in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and beyond. Our pipeline of opportunities continues to grow, whilst our exposure to the UK market continues to reduce.”

Although its P3 investment pipeline is down from £1.58bn ($2.04bn) at the end of 2017 to £1.56bn ($2.01bn) to the first half of this year, it did increase on a year-on-year basis from £1.38bn ($1.78bn). Renewables rose from £565m ($729m) to £733m ($946m) for the same period, accounting for a total investment pipeline of £2.3bn ($2.96bn).

The group’s total investment portfolio grew from £1.12bn ($1.44bn) to £1.26bn ($1.62bn) year-on-year.

The group also made investment commitments in the A16 Road P3 in the Netherlands and the MBTA Automated Fare Collection System in Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, the firm reported cash collateral of £16.7m ($21.5m) for the I-77 Managed Lanes to be invested into the underlying project by November, as well as £117.7m ($151.9m) for the I-66 Managed Lanes to follow between May 2020 and December 2022.

The project company for the Denver Eagle P3 has also made progress in the pursuit of approvals for the level crossings on the A and G lines, with full revenue service expected to be achieved by the end of the year.

John Laing is in discussions with all parties involved in the I-4 Ultimate in Florida to minimize disruptions as the project is behind schedule by approximately eight months. 

While bidding has been slower in the first part of the year, Brousse said activity has picked up considerably since the group launched a rights issue earlier in March.

“The recent rights issue has given us the financial credibility to team up with the best international infrastructure players,” Brousse said, adding that “at the same time we will retain our risk analysis and investment discipline to continue to grow safely and in a scalable way.”