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State gets close to buying West-Link toll bridge

November 15, 2006

The Government’s negotiations to buy the West-Link toll bridge in Dublin from the private company which operates it are believed to be close to conclusion for a price in the region of €600 million.

This is at the upper end of the price range mooted when the negotiations started with National Toll Roads (NTR), and it could rise still higher.

The talks are in their final stages, but sources say there are still significant areas of difference between the two sides on the transfer of a bridge used by 95,000 vehicles every day.

At issue in discussions held very recently is the tax treatment of the Government payments to NTR. While NTR pays the standard 12.5 per cent rate of corporation tax, the company is said to be seeking an indemnity against a higher effective tax rate should the payments to it trigger any capital gains tax liability.

The objective of the talks is to formulate a complex financial agreement for the transfer of the bridge in mid-2008.

With the Budget imminent and the general election approaching, the talks gathered pace recently when the Government instructed the National Roads Authority (NRA) to move into the final phase of negotiation.

“My understanding is that they are trying to bring it to end-game at the moment,” said one informed source.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2006 11:15 pm

    Making a few more comments

  2. December 1, 2006 11:16 pm

    Just another one…and then it asked me to slow down. How dare it!!!!

  3. December 1, 2006 11:16 pm

    This last time it let my comment through. It must have a wait of at least 20 seconds before you can post another comment.

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