Autostrade takes majority position in ETC Corp
By Peter Samuel
2012-05-02: Italy-based Autostrade is taking a majority position in the big American toll systems provider ETCC (Electronic Transactions Consultants Corporation.) Autostrade has had a minority share since 2007 of the company that was formed in March 1999 by founder and president Timothy O Gallagher out of an expansion of consulting work he had done personally for systems in the Dallas and Houston areas.
The transaction is touted as strengthening the capital of the company as well as benefiting both companies through synergies of skills and work.
Autostrade is big outside the US but has little within it. ETCC is the reverse - big within the US but nothing outside it.
Tim Gallagher has had the majority share until now but with a new issue of shares Autostrade will hold 63% of the stock and Gallagher will hold around 34%. Autostrade and Gallagher will between them continue to hold about 97% of stock.
ETCC has its main offices in Richardson in the Dallas-FtWorth metro area and has major contracts building and running toll systems for some of the largest toll authorities - NTTA (Dallas), Harris County (Houston), Illinois Tollway, PANYNJ, and Miami Dade Expressway Authority as well as smaller but active tollers like Washington state DOT, Louisiana DOT and Georgia SRTA.
Most have been totally new systems and technically challenging. A couple have at some point been contentious.
Gallagher will remain CEO and Autostrade's Christopher Melnyk becomes chairman.
An announcement today quotes Gallagher: "Since 2007 Autostrade has been an excellent partner and shareholder of ETC Corporation. This additional level of investment strengthens our relationship and enables us to further leverage the synergies between our two companies to serve the toll and transportation industries."
"ETC Corporation will continue to be led by our talented management team which represents some of the most experienced and knowledgeable leaders in toll collection. In addition, Mr. Christopher Melnyk of Autostrade has been nominated as ETC Corporation's new Chairman of the Board while I continue to serve as a member of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the company."
Autostrade per Italia Spa, a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly traded Atlantia is Europe's biggest tollroad operator and one of the world's largest. Directly managed by Autostrade, head officed in Rome, are 1,733 miles, 2855km of toll motorways. Adding in pikes worked with other companies gets to a total of 1945 miles, 3132km with 5 million transactions per day.
Outside Italy tollroads operated by Autostrade include:
- in Brazil through Triangulo do Sol company 442km in the state of Sao Paulo
- in India with the Tata Group the 110km Pune-Solapur Expressway in Maharashtra
- in Santiago Chile the 43km Costanera Norte, the first all-electronic tollroad in Latin America
- in Poland with Stalexport SA the 61km Krakow-Katowic toll motorway
Autostrade Tech a subsidiary specializes in system integration.
Autostrade in France has one of the world's largest distance based toll schemes to operate a satellite based system for trucks initially on 9,400 miles, 15,000km of state freeways.
Autostrade in its home territory is engaged in a modernization of its toll motorways and addition of 1100km bringing its total investment to E25 billion, $35b.