By Daniel Hunter

Deal values for global transactions of transport infrastructure assets including airports, ports and road operations have risen steeply since the beginning of the year with 2013 poised to be a record year for transport infrastructure deals, according to an analysis by global advisory firm KPMG.

The first half of 2013 saw global deals of infrastructure assets worth USD 16.6bn, by the end of the third quarter this figure had risen to USD 23.5bn, which already exceeds total annual deal values for every year since 2008, the KPMG research shows.

The majority of assets being acquired in 2013 have been either in Europe or Asia. This year alone the UK has seen major deals such as the acquisition of Stansted Airport by Manchester Airport Group for £1.5 billion (USD 2.4bn) and the sale of a 9pc stake in Heathrow airport by Spain’s Ferrovial to Universities Superannuation Scheme, one of the UK’s largest pension funds, for £395 million (USD 636 million).

Steffen Wagner, KPMG’s European Head of Transport M&A comments: “There are three main drivers behind this trend: Public budget restraints across debt ridden countries especially in Europe have forced national governments to privatise national infrastructure and look for private operators and investors in order to secure the operation of strategic transport infrastructure and hub networks.

“Secondly, private investors like pension funds are constantly looking for investment opportunities with steady cash flows and growth prospects and transport infrastructure targets including ports and airports can offer these opportunities. Thirdly, strategic investors are increasingly investing in infrastructure assets, especially in emerging markets where growth forecasts are significantly above the mature markets in Western Europe and North America”.

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