ACS falls sharply on the stock market: it may lose the concession for a highway in Texas

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ACS falls sharply this Thursday in the stock market (down more than 3%) after learning that the Texas Transportation Commission (USA) has decided to renegotiate the toll highway concession contract SH-288, managed by Blueridge Transportation Group, currently co-owned by ACS (43.2%) and Abertis (56.8%). However, ACS losses are not the only ones that draw attention. Ferrovial It is also declining, and in fact it is the second worst value on the Ibex, because it has a lot of exposure to highways in the US, so the news is not sitting well with it. This is what they have communicated ACS and Abertis in separate statements sent to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), in which they detail that the Commission plans to meet this Thursday «to authorize the creation of a transport corporation and the possible early termination of the highway concession contract.» This organization, according to various information in the press, plans to discuss, and foreseeably approve, the termination of the agreement with Blueridge not due to non-compliance or negligence on the part of the manager, but because The contract provides for a 'purchase provision' that is below the value of future revenues from the infrastructure. The possible nationalization of the highway contrasts with the defense that ACS and Abertis make of the project in their notes. And they emphasize that the SH-288 «has come working with notable success since its entry into operation in November 2020.» Likewise, they also explain that the Commission has announced that prior to the decision, it will open a period of six months to negotiate a new agreement with the current concessionaire that avoids such early termination and that reflects the interest of the State of Texas and the investor shareholders. It should be remembered that this highway It is one of the most important infrastructure projects in the Houston metropolitan area.and which since its opening in 2020 has helped decongest the city.
Sabadell experts have assessed the news, and believe that it is «news without impact», although the truth is that ACS is suffering on the stock market. It is, remember, a «non-strategic participation for ACS», and they highlight that Florentino Péres' company «recently commented that it is one of the assets (along with other industrial and service assets, such as Clece) with which it considers it could generate close to 3,000 million euros of cash in the coming years» . Regarding SH-288, the bank points out that in the presentation of the results for the fourth quarter and for the whole of 2023 ACS «confirmed that there are several interested buyersin addition to Abertis, although he maintains that as time goes by the value of the asset is growing due to the good performance it is having at an operational level.»