The operator of Brisbane's AirportlinkM7 toll road has gone into receivership, after failing to reach a restructuring agreement with its lenders.
BrisConnections today went into voluntary administration, with the company appointing McGrath Nicol as the administrators.
The move followed an announcement in November last year that the company's board felt the enterprise value of BrisConnections may be less than its outstanding debts.
At that time, BrisConnections entered negotiations with its lenders, but the company was advised last night that the requisite majority of lenders was not prepared to support the company's restructuring proposals.
BrisConnections non-executive chairman Trevor Rowe says the decision to appoint administrators was disappointing, but unanimous.
"It is disappointing that the board has had to reach this decision," he said in a statement.
"The AirportlinkM7 is unquestionably a world class piece of transport infrastructure that will continue to support Brisbane's growth into the decades ahead." BrisConnections says the tunnel will remain open as normal and customer accounts are secure.
Following the appointment of administrators, PPB Advisory was appointed as receivers and managers for BrisConnections by the company's lenders, understood to include ANZ and nine offshore banks.
The banks have together lent more than $3 billion to BrisConnections.
PPB will thus be responsible for managing the business until such time as it can be sold to generate a return to the creditors.
PPB Advisory partner David McEvoy has also confirmed that the tunnel will operate as normal.
"AirportlinkM7 is a valuable part of Brisbane's road network and will continue to operate as usual," he noted in a statement.
"Our priority is to ensure that normal service is maintained while we work with management and other key stakeholders to implement a sustainable future for the business."