The appeal of Spain on the global stage
In recent years, there has been a shift in the infrastructure corporate landscape with Spanish infrastructure groups becoming a dominant force in large-scale global projects, second only to China in size and power. Spanish groups now boast an impressive global portfolio with Ferrovial (the majority owner of the UK’s Heathrow airport), ACS (which owns German construction group Hochtief), and Talgo (a mid-sized Spanish rolling stock company that has run the Mecca to Medina high-speed train project alongside a consortium of 12 Spanish groups). Other Spanish-led projects include the Panama Canal expansion, Crossrail in London, the Sydney Light Rail as well as metros in Riyadh, Doha and Lima.
This is all despite the domestic economy still feeling the effects of a housing crisis and deep recession from 2009 to 2013, which cost millions in jobs and left Spain deep in debt. It was in fact the collapsing economy that forced the Spanish infrastructure market onto an international stage where they have since thrived.
During a 21-year period, government agencies spent €81bn on infrastructure, with only a short drop in funding during the 2007 crisis. Those who survived despite the loss in government funding are now a stronger force than before as they are less leveraged, leaner and increasingly international in nature. Therefore, though the government spend was as a whole, varying degrees of successful, the sheer size of investment allowed infrastructure groups in Spain to grow rapidly, expanding not only domestically but on a global scale, now able to compete on large projects.
Spain now boasts the largest and most experienced global corporate infrastructure groups in the world that are looking to recycle capital, deleverage balance sheets and / or sell concessions they have built.
Spain now boasts the largest and most experienced global corporate infrastructure groups in the world that are looking to recycle capital, deleverage balance sheets and / or sell concessions they have built. This creates opportunities for international infrastructure funds not only from Europe, but from the USA and Australia to have access to, and secure, high quality infrastructure assets, to be acquired and sold by these groups.