History of Transurban

February 8, 2024

Key events in the history of Transurban and Australia's tollroad building industry.

1996: John Holland, then owned by Janet Holmes a Court, sacked from Mobil refinery job in Altona.

February 27, 1997: Transurban prospectus released raising $510m million at $500 a pop with only $63.5m set aside for public investors which was scooped up by various insiders in a retail offer which closed after just 3 days. It was expected to open in December 1999 and was a 34 year concession. Instant 10% tax free return and the prospectus forecast annual toll revenue of $187 million (in March 1995 dollars) in 2001 and $220 million in 2011.

June 20, 1997: stock had already doubled to $1040. If effectively floated with 510 million shares at $1.

August 1999: western link opened 4 months late - see AFR.

September 18, 1999: shock Kennett defeat.

November-December 1999: Belgiorno-Nettis family breakdown.

November 1999: Leighton buys 70% of John Holland for a nominal sum as Mobil dispute rolls on. Returns to profit and buys the rest for a nominal sum in 2004, but paid handy dividends to Janet during the 5 year joint venture.

April 26, 2000: first paying customer of the Domain Tunnel.

July 2000: CBA officially takes over Colonial, becoming the biggest shareholder in Transurban.

August 2000: Citylink revenue peaks at $9.9m for the month of August.

December 22, 2000: first paying customer of the Burnley Tunnel - see wikipedia.

May 2001: Transfield Services floats at $1.60 a share with family retaining control as they cash up to meet Transurban litigation liabilities.

September 2001: Vic Govt amends legislation ending City Link as a single purpose vehicle so Transurban can expand interstate and offshore.

June 2001: monthly toll revenue hit $19.9m.

November 15, 2001: Vic Govt approves CBA moving to 30% of Transurban or 153m of the 510 million shares after buying Colonial.

November 2001: Transurban and Transfield Obayashi settled a damages claim out of court over the Burnley Tunnel for $153.6 million.

December 19, 2001: Transurban shares restructured after an EGM vote and capital becomes 510 million $1 shares. Stock had already more than tripled, valuing equity at $1.5b.

December 2002: ACCC approves John Hollard (70% owned by Leighton) buying Transfield Construction and Walter Construction. See announcement. Deal involved $50m payment and about $500m of work. See Leighton statement.

2002-03: City Link toll revenue jumps 12.3% for the year to $234m, net of GST.

August 2003: substantial holders were CBA with 22.9%, Macquarie with 10.5% and ING with 6.5%.

September 2003: still only 518m shares on issue and annual report notes Transurban owes the state $95.6m a year for the first 25 years and then $45.2m for years 26 to 34, for a total of $2.8 billion.

October 2003: Laurie Cox stands aside from Mitcham to Frankston tender given both Transurban and Macquarie were tendering.

December 2003: Transurban, MIG and Macquarie enter tolling joint venture arrangement.

August 2004:
Citylink reports 10.1% lift in net revenue to $254m excluding GST for 2003-04.

October 14, 2004: Connect East wins the Mitcham to Frankston tender and Transurban writes off $8.5m in bid costs.

November 2004: ATO seeks High Court leave to fight deductibility of concession fees.

November 2004: Transurban announces discussions with VicRoads to spend $150m fixing Calder-Tulla interchange in exchange for concession payment relief commencing in 2012. This is the second major change to the scope of the original project after the Exhibition St extension providing direct city access.

November 23, 2004: ConnectEast raises $1.12b at $1 a share. Shares peak at $1.60 but eventually taken over at 55c after traffic forecasts fell short.

April 2005: Transurban moves to 53% of Hills Motorway after scrip offer.

May 2, 2005: Transurban's first offshore deal inked with Capital Beltway project near Washington. See announcement.

May 6, 2005: issued 64.3m new shares to Hills Holders. The 25c cash payment also cost $46m and when including $410m of net debt, it paid $1.3 billion in today's terms for a business generating $100m of toll revenue. Initial concession until 2042 and now extended to 2046.

August 2005: 791m shares on issue with CBA on 13.54% and Ontario Teachers on 6.1%. See page 130 of AR.

September 2006: 833m shares on issue with CBA on 13.54% and Ontario Teachers on 6.1%.

January 2007: Transurban sues Transfield-Obayishi again over flaws in the Burnley Tunnel - see AFR.

February 2007: Laurie Cox surrenders chair after 11 years and hands over to David Ryan. Laurie exits with 1.14m shares.

April 2007: Transurban compulsorily acquires Sydney Roads, less than a year after it was demerged by Macquarie Infrastructure Group.

April 2007: Transurban repays $1.2 billion in tax effective infrastructure bonds with cash collatoral sitting with Macquarie Bank.

June 30, 2007: Chris Lynch exits the BHP board to take up role as Transurban CEO. Departs with 361k ordinary BHP shares and 292k LTIPs in play for a potential equity holding of 653k shares worth $30m if retained today.

July 2007: reports record Citylink revenue of $332m, an increase of 8.8%.

August 2007: Transurban pops up with 6.3% of Connect East after paying $1.26 per share.

September 2007: shares on issue now at 1083m. Ontario Teachers 9.4%, Capital Partners 5.9% and VFMC 5.3%. See page 46 of AR.

April 2008: founding CEO Kim Edwards retires, replaced by Chris Lynch.

June 2008: Eastlink opens 5 months ahead of schedule but then fails to meet traffic forecasts.

September 2008: 1.09 billion shares on issue: CPP 14.1%, Ontario Teachers 14.25, Capital Partners 10.72%

2009: Laurie Cox retires from the Macquarie board.

August 2010: Eastlink reports $179m of toll revenue for 2009-10.

September 2011: Eastlink privatised with 55c per share bid by CP2 and Horizon. Enterprise value $2.1b including $1.2b debt. Future Fund voted its 5% stake against in a tight vote.

April 3, 2012: Transurban announces it has poached Lend Lease chief operating officer Scott Charlton to be its next CEO.

July 16, 2012: Scott Charlton joins the board starting with no shares on the same day Chris Lynch exits with 239k ordinary shares and another 1.8m Transurban LTIs in train.

September 2013: page 48 of annual report reveals Scott Chalton paid $4.14m in first year as CEO and Chris Lynch exited with statutory pay of $6.9m after collecting $7.4m in his final full year.

November 11, 2013: Transurban announces purchase of Cross City Tunnel debt.

October 6, 2014: Transurban signs a deal with out-going Coalition Government re Tulla widering and East West link interface.

April 30, 2015: announces amendment to Vic Govt deal after East West link cancelled. Leighton is contracted to do the expanded Tulla widening project. Simultaneous announcement by Vic Govt to progress Transurban's "market led" Westgate Tunnel project, which is projected to cost $5-$5.5b.

November 2015: $1.025 billion 1-for-18 capital raise at $9.60 to fund AirportLink M7 acquisition in Sydney. The $738 million institutional component was 90% subscribed with the 7.7m shortfall clearing at $10.10, delivering 50c to non-participants. The $287 million retail offer had 8 days of rights trading and was open for 12 days. There was a 70% take-up rate and the shortfall of 9 million entitlements cleared at 30c.

December 8, 2015: Transurban announced as exclusive negotiator for Westgate Tunnel project with detailed maps revealed on project now costed at $5.5b.

July 2016: Vic Govt releases reference design for Westgate Tunnel.

December 12, 2017: Transurban reaches financial close on Westgate Tunnel Project promising to spend $4 billion of its own money delivering a new project by 2022 that it could toll until 2045.

January 2018: $1.9 billion 3-for-37 capital raise at $11.40 to fund Westgate Tunnel project. The $1.35 billion institutional offer was 94% subscribed and the shortfall cleared at $12.50 giving $1.10 to non-participants. The $550 million retail offer produced a shortfall auction comprising 13.6 million shares which delivered 50c in compensation to non-participants. Retail investors had 35 days to consider the 84 page offer document.

September 2018: $4.2b 10-for-57 PAITREO capital raise at $10.80 to fund Westconnex acquisition with the stock trading at $12.06 before it was launched. There was also a $600m placement at $10.85. The $3 billion institutional offer was 96% subscribed with the $120 million shortfall clearing at a $1 premium of $11.80. The $1.222 billion retail offer traded between 40c and $1.01 with a VWAP of 55c. The retail offer was 67.56% subscribed as 53,800 investors bought $827m new shares. The shortfall of 36.7m shares cleared at $11, raising $403.7 million and giving about 47,000 non-participants a 20c compensation payment collectively worth $7.34 million.

September 2019: $500m placement in 2019 followed by a $15,000 SPP which was capped at $200 million but ended up raising $312 million. so retail contributed a healthy 38.4% of the $812m raising which helped fund the acquisition of the remaining shares in Sydney's M5 West.

September 2021: $3.97 billion 1-for-9 PAITREO at $13 to further fund $11.1 billion West-Connex acquisition, plus a $250m placement to Australian Super at $13.07 when the previous close was $14.18. The institutional component of the PAITREO raised $2.9 billion with a 93% take-up rate and a 90c payment to non-participants. The $1068 million retail component comprised 27% of the PAITREO and raised $697m from 59,000 participants equating to 65% of the shares on offer. The circa 74,000 non-participating retail shareholders shared in $8.58 million. The instos ended up contributing $3.522 billion or 83.5% of the $4.22 billion raised when they started out with 73% of the company before the transaction.

December 2021: Transurban agrees to stump up an additional $2 billion to finish the delayed Westgate Tunnel after a deal with the Victorian Government which agreed to put in an extra $1.9 billion as the $6.7 billion project blew out to $10 billion.

March 22, 2023:
CP2 reveals that is selling up to 55.45% of Eastlink for what it hopes will deliver $2-2.5 billion, which would value the tollroad at almost $7 billion, including debt.

July 2023: Sydney 2022-23 toll revenue hit $1.7b, Melbourne up 23.8% to $894m, Brisbane up 15.5% to $520m and North Americas up 22% to $232m.

August 2023: 130k holders of 3.08b shares: Biggest holder is Unisuper with 12.48% or 333.4. Big 3 index funds collectively own 19.2%.

September 21, 2023: ACCC opposes Transurban attempt to buy EastLink.

October 19, 2023: Michelle Jablko succeeds CEO Scott Charlton after AGM.

Recent media on Transurban nationalisation proposal

Sunday Age column
September 10, 2023

ABC Melbourne interview with Ali Moore
October 4, 2010

Eureka Report column
October 10, 2023