Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Macquarie makes a Fortune

There is nothing more satisfying as a writer than seeing the big picture come together.

That’s why the staff here at Land Line was ecstatic to receive the Oct. 1 issue of Fortune magazine.

To say the piece about “The Real Macquarie” is in-depth would be as big of an understatement as saying Macquarie has a few bucks lying around.

Fortune Editor-at-large Bethany McLean really dives into what makes the Australian bank and tolling giant tick. Sometimes, that giant is an ogre.

Australians either love or hate the “millionaire factory” and its controversial methods for profiting on everything from toll roads, parking lots, airports and electric utilities.

Macquarie is a name you will know, she says.

But Land Line readers have been getting a steady dose of Macquarie news since 2005, when the firm partnered with Cintra of Spain to lease the Chicago Skyway – the first time a public toll road was leased or “sold” by the government to private investors.

And, as you know, the company partnered with Cintra in 2006 to bid a whopping $3.85 billion for the right to collect the tolls on the Indiana Toll Road for 75 years.

Macquarie was a big part of our inspiration for the “Toll Hogs” issue of Land Line in July 2006 – the one with the piggy bank on the cover. And, not to outdo ourselves too much, we reprised the issue of big-toll finance in March/April 2007 with our “Pass GO, collect billions” cover story.

It is positive reassurance for us to see such a popular magazine as Fortune hit the nail on the head and affirm our early findings that, yes, the toll hogs are coming – and they’ve got their checkbooks out.