Aecon finalizes sale of Cross Israel Highway concession

- - $82 million deal represents an after tax gain of approximately $30 to $35 million - -

TORONTO, Jan. 4 /CNW/ - Aecon Group Inc. (TSX:ARE) announced today that it has completed the previously disclosed sale of its 25% interest in the Cross Israel Highway concessionaire, Derech Eretz Highways (1997) Ltd. (DEC).

The $82.3 million sale to Shikun & Binui Holdings Ltd. (previously a 37.5% partner in the concession) and T.S.I. Roads Limited Partnership, a consortium headed by Israel Infrastructure Fund (the IIF consortium), was completed December 31, 2010. The sale will generate cash proceeds to Aecon of $65 - $70 million and an after tax gain of approximately $30 to $35 million.

In a related transaction, Africa Israel Investments Ltd. sold its 37.5% share of DEC to the IIF consortium. The end result of the two transactions is that Shikun & Binui Holdings Ltd. and the IIF consortium each now own 50% of DEC.

Excluded from the transaction are Aecon's interests in Derech Eretz Highways Management Corporation Limited, the operator of the Cross Israel Highway, in which Aecon holds a 30.6% interest, as well as Aecon's interests in several affiliates of the operator that operate other transportation infrastructure assets in Israel.

"We believe this transaction is an affirmation of the public/private partnership model for developing public infrastructure, a model that was pioneered in the development of the Cross Israel Highway," said John M. Beck, Aecon's Chairman and CEO. "The gains realized through this sale, which are in addition to the profits Aecon earned from its role in construction and operation of the highway, highlight the merits of our strategy of participating in such selected partnerships as both developer and contractor."

"I am grateful to our partners in DEC and to the State of Israel and its representatives, who made our participation in this very successful and innovative project possible," Mr. Beck said.

Aecon Group Inc. is Canada's largest publicly traded construction and infrastructure development company. Aecon and its subsidiaries provide services to private and public sector clients throughout Canada and on a selected basis internationally. Aecon is pleased to be recognized as one of the Best Employers in Canada as published by Maclean's Magazine.

The information in this press release includes certain forward-looking statements. These "forward-looking" statements are based on currently available competitive, financial and economic data and operating plans but are subject to risks and uncertainties.  In addition to general global events outside Aecon's control, there are factors which could cause actual results, performance or achievements to vary from those expressed or inferred herein including risks associated with an investment in the common shares of Aecon and the risks related to Aecon's business, including Large Project Risk and Contractual Factors.

Risk factors are discussed in greater detail in the section on "Risk Factors" in the Final Short Form Prospectus filed on October 1, 2010 and available at  Forward-looking statements include information concerning possible or assumed future results of operations or financial position of Aecon, as well as statements preceded by, followed by, or that include the words "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "projects," "intends," "should" or similar expressions.  Important factors, in addition to those discussed in this document, could affect the future results of Aecon and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Aecon Group Inc.

For further information:

Mitch Patten
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Affairs
Aecon Group Inc.


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