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Legislature Cites Highway Authority for Metropistas Transaction

By on April 26, 2016

SAN JUAN – The Legislative Assembly’s Joint Commission on Public Private Alliances has summoned Carmen Villar Prados, executive director of the Puerto Rico Highways & Transportation Authority (HTA by its Spanish acronym), to testify Wednesday on amendments to the agency’s contract with Autopistas Metropolitanas de Puerto Rico, or Metropistas, operator of PR-5 and PR-22.

The information was reported by Spanish media without the Legislative Assembly’s knowledge. Metropistas is a consortium between Spanish conglomerate Abertis Infraestructuras, S.A., which owns a majority stake and the Goldman Sachs investment firm.

The amendments provide a 10-year extension to the contract with Metropistas in exchange for a payment of $115 million, of which $100 million will be disbursed at the signing of the agreement and the rest will be paid in mid-2017.

The amendment also includes a decrease to 25% from 50% in HTA’s revenue share of PR-22’s dynamic toll.

The joint commission, chaired by Jesús Santa Rodríguez, requires Villar Prados to present all transaction-related documents by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

HTA officials did not appear for the last hearing convened by the commission, which is investigating the compliance of the public-private partnership with the agreements established in the contract with the public corporation.

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