Abu Dhabi Shares Profits From Parking Meters

In fact, a Chicago News Cooperative investigation has found that investment arms of the oil-rich Abu Dhabi government hold more than a 25 percent stake in the company that privatized the city’s 36,000 parking meters. German financial company Allianz also has a large minority interest, and the remaining 50.1 percent is held by partnerships assembled by Morgan Stanley.

The participation of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds and other international investors exposes the level of sophistication of the money behind the city’s parking meter deal. Mayor Daley and other proponents of the contract argue that it is too soon to know if the parking investors will enjoy solid returns, but the players in the Chicago parking company are known for their acumen for profitable long-term deals.

(Full story here.)

Kudos to the Chicago New Coop in breaking this story wide open.

This deal just keeps getting worse and worse.  It’s clear that no one in city government knows anything about putting deal together.  Da Mare and the city counsel simply got played by professionals on this one.

This is a continuing example of why the city should not lease assets.  There is no one capable of doing the background work necessary to make sure these are good deals.  As such, all should be avoided.