A top Carlyle Group executive is leading a panel tomorrow at a conference to teach government officials in the U.S. how to lease public assets to foreign groups – an event that barred WND.

Barry Gold, managing director in charge of infrastructure investment, will be at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City to lead a session at the “North American PPP & Infrastructure Finance Conference.”

The government of Abu Dhabi has made an investment in the Carlyle Group, a Washington-based private investment firm with close ties to former President George H. W. Bush and his family and top officials in the Reagan and Clinton administrations.

Organizers say the conference’s aim is to teach state and local government officials in the U.S. how to lease a wide range of public assets to international and foreign private investment groups.

WND reported last week, EuroMoney closed the conference, refusing to accept from WND the $1,999 registration fee because WND was “too political” to attend.

Gold is heading a panel on how institutional investors are approaching PPP structures in which state departments of transportation can lease current toll roads or develop a new generation financed and operated largely by foreign investment consortiums for decades after the roads are completed.

Last week Mubadala, a wholly owned investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, purchased a 7.5 percent share of the Carlyle Group, permitting the Arab emirate’s government to own or receive fees as a minority shareholder on PPP toll road infrastructure projects the Carlyle Group structures or finances.

With this equity structure, state departments of transportation that contract PPP toll road projects with or through the Carlyle Group may end up with UAE ownership of the operating leases. The roads could operate under that arrangement for decades without residents of the state being aware of Abu Dhabi ownership.

The following state department of transportation participants are listed on the EuroMoney seminar brochure:

  1. Kenneth Newman, chief financial officer, Wisconsin DOT

  2. Barbara Reese, deputy secretary of transportation, Virginia

  3. James Bass, chief financial officer, Texas DOT

  4. Cedric Grant, assistant secretary, Louisiana DOT

  5. Peggy Catlin, deputy executive director, Colorado DOT

  6. Kathy English, chief financial officer, Delaware DOT

  7. Emeka Moneme, director, Washington, D.C., DOT

Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Colorado and Delaware are listed on the Federal Highway Administration website as being among the 21 states that have enacted PPP-enabling legislation for highway projects, containing the 28 key elements the FHWA recommends be enacted into state law.

The Carlyle Group website credits Gold with leading PPP financing for the Chicago Skyway, Autopista Central in Chile, Highway 407 in Toronto, California State Route 91 and the Santiago Airport.

The Carlyle Group website documents Gold’s extensive international experience with infrastructure financing. At Airport Group International, a global airport development company, he was responsible for the Bolivian Airports concession and an Australian investment, operating agreement and financing. At Lehman Brothers, he worked on the Budapest Airport advisory and financing and the MC Cuernavaca Toll Road in Mexico.

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