John Laing sees expanding portfolio

Investor John Laing has reported a PPP investment pipeline of £1.56bn as the company saw a promising end to the first half of the year.

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

Although its PPP investment pipeline is down from £1.58bn at the end of 2017 to £1.56bn to the first half of this year, it did increase on a year-on-year basis from £1.38bn. Renewables rose from £565m to £733m for the same period, accounting for a total investment pipeline of £2.3bn.

The group’s total investment portfolio grew from £1.12bn to £1.26bn year-on-year.

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.”

North America is considered the top destination for PPP equity investment, with an estimated £641m compared to £466m in Europe and £460m in the Asia Pacific as at 30 June.

Representing a total potential investment opportunity of approximately £325m, the group is currently shortlisted for 12 PPPs and concessions including the Silvertown Tunnel in the UK and the National Broadband Plan in Ireland. 

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

Brousse added that Australia also offers enormous opportunities, especially in Victoria, although he cautioned the balance of opportunities would be contingent on the political situation.

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.”