Companies show interest in developing Ohio Turnpike lease

| Monday, August 29, 2011

Fourteen companies have expressed interest in helping the state DOT develop a lease or sale of the Ohio Turnpike.

Earlier this month, the Ohio Department of Transportation and Office of Budget and Management put out the call for firms interested in helping to maximize the value of the turnpike via a long-term lease or outright sale.

Gov. John Kasich has said the 241-mile Ohio Turnpike could fetch as much as $3 billion from private investors in a deal similar to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ lease for the Indiana Toll Road.

Proceeds would go to pay off turnpike debt and make capital improvements, Kasich stated earlier this year.

Highway users, including truckers, question the viability of long-term leases or the outright sale of existing infrastructure. OOIDA opposes these types of “pawn shop” deals, which can last decades and include substantial toll increases levied on the user.

A spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Transportation provided a list of companies that expressed interest in the turnpike in time to meet an Aug. 24 deadline. They are:

BMO Capital Markets GKST Inc.
Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
Greenhill & Co., LLC
Ice Miller LLP
KPMG Corporate Finance LLP
Lazard Freres & Co. LLC
Macquarie Capital
Moelis & Company LLC
Morgan Stanley
Public Financial Management, Inc.
RBC Capital Markets, LLC
Seel Jackson Consulting, LLC
UBS Investment Bank
William Blair & Co.

The Ohio DOT and budget office will begin reviewing criteria submitted by the companies and may choose an adviser for a possible lease or sale in the coming months.

See related story:
Ohio to hire advisers to develop turnpike lease or sale