Douro Litoral accused Brisa of “attempt to intimidate new shareholders”

  • ECO News
  • 29 January 2019

Douro Litoral Highways (AEDL) claimed that Brisa's protective order is nothing but an attempt to intimidate the new shareholders of this highway dealership.

Douro Litoral Highways considers the protective order interposed by Brisa to the new shareholders to be a “whispering campaign, an attempt to intimidate the new stakeholders”. And despite the conundrum, AEDL noted that the functioning and safety of the highways they manage are all ensured.

This Monday, Brisa decided to file a protective order against the takeover, which targets the management of A41, A43 and A32 highways (Porto area’s main roads, which connect the city to all the surrounding areas), all of which have toll charges.

The new creditors involved are mainly investment funds and international banks, which have decided to step in and takeover the handling of these highways after Brisa’s failure to comply with the capital reimbursements and commission costs of its financial contracts.

AEDL, which just last week welcomed a new management team, considers this move to be a “whispering campaign” through which Brisa is simply trying to create a “litigious situation, in order to dodge its contract obligations, which were negotiated without any pressure”.

“The new creditors, as they stepped in as the new owners of AEDL, have complied with all legal requirements outlined in the contract which was signed by Brisa 11 years ago; at that time, Brisa contracted a €1BN loan for the expansion of the highway”, the company advanced, accusing Brisa of jeopardizing the sustainability of the financial system as it continuously pilled up “billions of euros in losses, from several banks which had to be subject to state bailout”.

These shareholders, according to the AEDL, “have the righteous conditions to become long-term owners of this highway dealership, and they own other relevant dealerships, with billions of euros in assets, and thousands of workers”.

Plus, against what Brisa has claimed, AEDL says that “these creditors did not interrupt negotiations unexpectedly, neither did they appropriate AEDL’s management without any previous notice”.

“Douro Litoral Highways has been in a credit default situation for five years in a row, but Brisa has been continuously profiting during that period, having received around €40m provided by their concession contract”, AEDL noted.

AEDL obtained the concession of these highways in 2007, and it both operates and maintains these roads, with a total of 73 km.

Despite the disagreements between AEDL’s new creditors and Brisa, the handler of the highways has assured the population that these roads are in full operation and respecting all safety requirements.