Acquisition of WestConnex motorway: Transurban Group’s (ASX: TCL) stock rose 0.628% to A$12.025 on August 9, 2018 (before market close) after ACCC commenced consultation on a proposed undertaking offered by TCL for the acquisition of the majority interest in the WestConnex motorway. TCL is the lead member of the Sydney Transport Partners consortium that has applied for acquisition. As per the proposed undertaking, TCL has agreed to publish detailed toll traffic data for all toll roads in New South Wales in which the company holds an interest. This data is considered to be more detailed and accurate than data that is currently available or has been shared with the bidders for WestConnex. Previously, the ACCC had raised preliminary competition concerns regarding TCL having an advantage in obtaining future toll road concessions because of having access to detailed traffic data from existing toll roads.
Meanwhile, TCL has offered to the ACCC, an undertaking that the company will publish 15-minute-interval toll gantry data each quarter, including vehicle count, vehicle classification (e.g. light vehicle, heavy vehicle) and direction of traffic flow. ACCC is still considering whether the undertaking is required and adequate to address any competition concerns regarding acquisition of WestConnex motorway. ACCC’s final decision is expected to come by 6 September 2018, but the ACCC can take an earlier decision if possible. On the other hand, TCL for FY 18 has more than doubled the full year net profit to $485 million, due to an increase in toll prices and higher vehicle numbers. The average daily traffic rose to 2.2 per cent, which led to the growth of the company’s revenue by 20.7 per cent to $3.298 billion. The company will maintain FY19 distribution guidance of 59.0 cps in the event of a successful WestConnex bid.
FY 18 Financial Performance (Source: Company Reports)
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