Roads are the most basic and one of the most used pieces of infrastructure. Developed countries recognise that road building and maintenance is vital for the continued wellbeing of their economies but also that every year new challenges arrive.
With the year-on-year increases in traffic, the drive for low carbonisation and declining government revenues, many countries are wrestling with the issue of road pricing. Ironically, as increases in traffic have outpaced road construction in the world's developing economies, we expect significant global growth in the road market over the next two decades. Developing economies often have preferences for toll roads for different reasons.
As the ownership of roads has become broader (states, construction companies and infrastructure funds all have significant portfolios), their sales have become more common, whether it is construction companies exiting due to construction having been completed and capital needing to be recycled, or financial constraints making disposals necessary. Whether the roads are toll roads, shadow toll roads or have availability based payment models, the key to efficient legal advice is a deep understanding of the market.
Allen & Overy has considerable experience advising on toll roads, bridges, tunnels and ring roads. We advise sponsors, banks and governments and other parties involved in the sector on project financings (public-private partnerships/private finance initiatives), construction, mergers and acquisitions, funding (equity and debt) and litigation.
We have experience of advising on numerous road projects globally including market-defining transactions in the UK, U.S., Europe and Central and Latin America.
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