CHICAGO — The owners of the bankrupt Indiana Toll Road said in court that they expect to find a new owner to take over the 75-year lease within just a few months for a price as high as $5 billion.
Attorneys for Indiana Toll Road Concession Co. two weeks ago told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Pamela Hollis that there are several parties interested in bidding for the toll road lease.
Separately, Hollis, who sits in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, approved a so-called Sale Incentive Plan motion that would allow some of the executives of ITR Concession to share a $1 million bonus plus if the lease sells for more than $4.5 billion. The executives would also get a piece of net proceeds in cash if the sale is above $5 billion, according to court filings.
ITR Concession paid $3.8 billion to the state of Indiana in 2006 for the 75-year lease of the 157-mile road.
The reorganization plan calls for payment in full in cash to all general unsecured creditors, and has support of nearly 99% of all senior secured creditors and equity sponsors. The plan calls for ITR Concession to either sell the lease or restructure its debt, which totals more than $6 billion, with other financing.
Two counties in northwest Indiana are reportedly among the bidders. Officials from Lake and LaPorte counties have put together a bid that would allow them to form an agency to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance their bid.
The names of all the bidders are confidential, according to the bankruptcy court.
UBS Securities LLC is financial advisor to a special committee that's overseeing the potential sale or restructuring. The committee will also work with the Indiana Finance Authority to transition the toll road to the winning bidder, according to court documents.
ITR Concession Co., the operator of the 157-mile tollway, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, 2014. The company, a subsidiary of Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, Macquarie Atlas Roads and Cintra, struggled with overly optimistic traffic projections coupled with a debt-heavy capital structure and a $2.15 billion liability tied to swaps.