EDHECinfra Post
Deal of the month: Millau Viaduct (May 2023)
Publication date: 2023-06-27

Eiffage, a French infrastructure operator, has strengthened its hold on the Millau Viaduct concession by acquiring the remaining 49% stake from Banque des Territoires, thus gaining full ownership. The Millau Viaduct, standing among the most elevated bridges globally, was built to reduce traffic congestion and improve traffic flow between Paris and Barcelona. It provides a direct route between the two cities, eliminating the need to travel around the hilly and winding roads of the Massif Central. Eiffage utilised its available cash resources to finance the acquisition, aligning with its strategic objective of bolstering its concession portfolio.

Commencing operations in December 2004, the project for the Millau Viaduct is governed by a 78-year DBFO (Design-Build-Finance-Operate) concession that was awarded in 2001. This concession framework entails the design, construction, financing, and operation of the viaduct for the specified duration. The project does not involve availability payments as a form of financing or reimbursement. Instead, it operates based on toll revenues generated from the usage of the bridge by motorists.

Additionally, the Millau Viaduct saw a remarkable revenue growth of 8.4% in 2022 compared to the previous year. This increase can be credited to the growth in both traffic volume and toll revenues.

A notable driver of the revenue growth for the Millau Viaduct was the implementation of increased toll rates. In the period from 2021 to 2022, the toll rates experienced an uptick of around 5%. This adjustment aligns with the inflation rate in the country, showcasing a balanced approach that considers the operational requirements of the viaduct while also considering the affordability for motorists.

Table 1: Key Metrics for the Millau Viaduct

Year 2023 (est.) 2022 (est.) 2021 2020
Millau Viaduct Sales c. EUR61M c. EUR58M EUR53.5M EUR43.1M
EBITDA c. EUR51.1M c. EUR48.6M EUR44.6M EUR34.1M
Total Assets c. EUR357.4M c. EUR353.9M EUR353.1M EUR354M


*Source: Annual Report Data, EDHEC Infrastructure and Private Assets Research Institute

Table 2, using data from the infraMetrics platform, provides a comprehensive range of valuation ratios for motorways in France. The pricing of the asset appears to be fair with an EV to EBITDA of 14.7x, slightly above the average ratio of 14.5x. This suggests that the asset’s valuation based on its earning potential is in line with market expectations. However, when considering its actual Price to Sales (P/S) ratio of 7.9x, it indicates that the asset is relatively expensive compared to the average ratio of 5.4x. This pricing discrepancy can be attributed to the high revenue growth observed or the potential for even larger growth in the asset. The Millau Viaduct has seen a substantial rise in usage, with around 4.8 million vehicles using the structure in 2021, marking a 30% increase from the previous year. This data is according to the viaduct’s 2021 annual report. The viaduct has also implemented periodic increases in toll rates, which can potentially contribute to higher revenue in the long term. Additionally, the viaduct benefits from tourism and economic development in its vicinity, further enhancing its value as a cable-stayed bridge.

Table 2: Price/Sales and EV/EBITDA Valuation Ranges (source: InfraMetrics)


Equivalent quintile Average Price-to-Sales Average EV-to-Ebitda
by Size (TA) 4.8x 14.2
by Profitability (RoA) 5.4x 23x
by Leverage 6.1x 6.7x
by Investment (Capex/TA) 4.9x 14.1x
by Remaining Life 3.4x 9.3x
by Country Risk 7.6x 19.6x
Average ratios (Comps)* 5.4x 14.5x
Implied Equity Valuation 339ME 472ME
Actual Price 482ME
Actual Ratio 7.9x 14.7x



Deal of the month: Millau Viaduct (May 2023)