Turn left on to the A50 and move into your own toll lane
Holzmann, which was saved from bankruptcy last week by the last-minute intervention of the German chancellor, Gerhard Schroder, owns a 30 per cent stake in Connect Roads, a joint venture with BICC, the construction giant, and WS Atkins, the civil engineer.
The Conservative government awarded the company the contract to build the first private road of any substance since toll roads were phased out in the last century - the upgrading of the A50 from the M1 at Derby to the M6 at Stoke-on-Trent.
The road opened in 1997 under an innovative Private Finance Initiative in which the consortium was paid a small fee for every vehicle that used the road. Enthused by its success, Connect bid for - and won - a similar PFI contract to build the A30/A35 Honiton by-pass, one of the most popular roads for holidaymakers going to Devon and Cornwall.
The road has caused much controversy because of the environmental disruption caused by a change of route taking the road across Exmoor. A group of protesters, including the legendary Swampy, tunnelled under the proposed route, so holding up building work.
Holzmann said last week that it would make up to pounds 1bn in disposals, and the Connect stake is believed to be top of the list. The operation has more than pounds 160m of net assets and a turnover expected to exceed pounds 30m this year. A price tag of up to pounds 50m is anticipated for the holding.
The most likely solution is for one of the other two partners to buy out Holzmann. But BICC, which sold almost all its cable operations to concentrate on Balfour Beatty, its building business, is not flush with cash.
And WS Atkins, which increased its holding in Connect last year, is believed to be looking to dispose of its stake. This leaves the way open for any would-be turnpike owners.
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 5 WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client Services Assistant is ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£32000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, inte...
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This multi-award winning foreig...