Atkins sells stake in London’s M25 ring road
First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Infrastructure engineering firm WS Atkins sold its stake in London’s M25 orbital road to a consortium of institutional investors for nearly €79 million (£66.3 million).
Atkins, a publicly listed UK company, sold to Edge Orbital Holdings 2 Limited and the deal for its minority stake is expected to be complete by March 2017, the end of the financial year, according to a statement by Atkins.
In October, the Edge Orbital consortium picked up Skanska’s 40% stake in Connect Plus, which manages the M25. Skanska sold for around €315 million (£265 million). Balfour Beatty and Egis remain shareholders in Connect Plus.
The 188km M25 was completed in 1986 and is Europe’s second longest urban orbital road, only 10km shorter than the Berliner Ring in Germany. Most of the road was built as a dual three-lane motorway but many sections have been widened. Around half is now dual four-lane with some dual five and dual six.
Daily traffic volumes have reached at times nearly 200,000 vehicles.
In May 2009, the UK’s government Highways Agency – now Highways England - awarded Connect Plus a 30-year design-build-finance-operate contract to manage the M25 and key arterial link roads. The contract included the now-completed widening of the M25 to four lanes between Junctions 16 and 23 and between Junctions 27 and 30, as well as refurbishment of the Hatfield Tunnel on the A1(M) motorway running north from London.
Connect Plus is also delivering other major improvements, including widening around 45km of the M25, refurbishing tunnels and bridges and installing hundreds of variable messaging signs (VMS) and gantries.