Australia's Macquarie Bank is apparently backing off its position in the parking business. It has been reported that Macquarie Infrastructure Company, the portion of the bank that has been so famous buying off airport parking, toll roads, the Chicago Skyway(ok leasing some) and National Car Parks in the UK amongst others, may be letting these assets "go", or as one source told me, "throwing the keys at the bank and walking away." How else can you interpret this, a portion of an article reporting on the company's fourth quarter growth:
The analysis also resulted in a decision to pursue strategic alternatives with respect to MIC's airport parking business including a possible sale, debt restructuring or filing for bankruptcy protection. The Company has advised lenders to the airport parking business that it does not intend to provide the business with additional capital contributions other than a maximum of $12.0 million in obligations that it has guaranteed. Implementation of any of the strategic alternatives would have no impact on the continued operation or cash generation of any other of MIC's businesses.
I'm told that "strategic alternatives" is financial speak for "dumping the program". Hmmm I wonder if this has anything to do with NCP not having any presence at all at the Parkex show in the UK. They usually have the biggest booth in the place, but were nowhere to be found and the folks at their on street citation management operation were very tight lipped.
Sometimes when companies back out of a market they boost the asset by stopping spending. Not dropping a hundred thousand on a booth at the UK's major trade show might be the beginning.
UPDATE: I have done a tad of research and find that the NCP portion of the Macquarie portfoilo is owned by Macquarie European Infrastructure Fundand not the US MIC above. Therefore it may not be included in the concerns MIC expressed in its news release. In further reading of the release I found this little item:
to refinance its debt obligations that mature in 2009 as a result of the
continued erosion of revenue caused by the decline in the level of
commercial air travel. MIC has advised lenders to the airport parking
business that it does not intend to provide the business with additional
capital contributions other than a maximum of $12.0 million in
obligations in connection with certain interest rate swap obligations,
shuttle bus leases and one facility lease that it has guaranteed.
Does this fall under the adage that if you owe the bank $10,000 its your problem, but if you owe the bank $10, 000,000 its the bank's problem?