- Olivier Brousse, the CEO of publicly traded global infrastructure investment, development and management firm John Laing Group PLC, has submitted his resignation in order to take a senior position with France-based water, waste and energy management company Veolia.
- Brousse will stay on with United Kingdom-based John Laing as CEO, a job he's held since 2014, during the transition to new leadership, Chairman Will Samuel said in a press release. The company has not yet found Brousse's successor but said it will provide updates on its efforts to identify a replacement when warranted.
- Samuel went on to praise Brousse's role in delivering a "successful (initial public offering)" for the company in 2015 and his leadership evolving the group’s geographic footprint and diversifying its portfolio.
John Laing declined to comment beyond its official statement, but a source close to the company told Construction Dive that its successful regional operating model would see global operations unfazed by the change, including its U.S. division. According to the Financial Times, 70% of John Laing's business is outside of the U.K.
John Laing's primary investment activity is in the public-private partnership (P3) infrastructure market. As part of various consortia, the company's U.S. projects include:
- The $1.4 billion modernization of Interstate 75 in Michigan, which includes a 30-year contract under a design-finance-build-maintain agreement with equity partners AECOM Capital, Dan’s Excavating, Ajax Paving Industries and Jay Dee Constructors.
- The $2.3 billion I-4 Ultimate project in Orlando, Florida, which is the largest single infrastructure project in Florida history. The scope of work includes the reconstruction of 22 miles of Interstate 4, more than 140 new or reconstructed bridges and a 40-year maintenance contract. John Laing is part of the I-4 Mobility Partners consortium with Skanska Infrastructure Group.
- The $665 million Interstate 77 managed lane project in Charlotte, North Carolina, as part of the Equity I-77 Mobility Partners P3 with Cintra, GCM Grosvenor and Aberdeen.
- The $2.3 billion Transform 66 project in the Washington, D.C. suburbs of Virginia that will add more than 22 miles of managed lines to Interstate 66 through Equity I-66 Express Mobility Partners, which includes Cintra, Meridiam and APG Groep.
- The Denver Eagle rail project, which involves the design, construction, finance, operation and maintenance of two new commuter rail lines and a portion of a third. The system connects the Denver Metro area with Denver International Airport, and the final line opened in April 2019. The project's cost is $2.04 billion, according to the USDOT. In addition to John Laing, the P3 in charge of the project includes Fluor and Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments.
John Laing used the Denver Eagle project as an example of the value that P3s can bring to transportation projects, but U.S.-based companies have been rethinking the model, at least as equity participants. Richard Kennedy, CEO of Skanska USA, told Construction Dive last year that mega projects have become so competitive that the environment, coupled with aggressive owner demands, has "pushed risk and reward out of bounds" for the foreseeable future. Also reevaluating their P3 involvement going forward has been Granite and Fluor.
Skanska USA announced its decision about the P3 market soon after taking a $100 million write-down in its P3 business. Skanska USA and John Laing's I-4 Ultimate P3 also has a $100 million unresolved claim that has been under negotiation since mid-2018. In an analysis of the project at the time, Moody's Investors Services, while changing its outlook for the I-4 Ultimate from positive to negative, affirmed the P3's Baa1, moderate-risk loan rating partly based on the experience and financial stability of the project's private partners.