AMP Capital has bought the first North American asset for its global infrastructure platform in a $370m (€330m) partnership with Canada’s Northleaf Capital Partners.
The joint venture will operate the parking concessions in Chicago, having now finalised a deal to buy Millennium Garages, the largest underground parking system in the US from LMG2.
The deal was first announced in February and given final approval by the city of Chicago yesterday.
The new owners have the rights and responsibilities to operate, manage, maintain and collect parking fees and other revenue in connection with the Millennium Garages system.
Millennium Garage operates four large underground parking stations offering 9,176 parking spaces underneath Millennium, Grant and Maggie Daley Parks in Chicago.
AMP Capital’s head of Americas infrastructure, Dylan Foo, said the asset fit perfectly with the platform’s mandate to invest in sectors “offering best relative value, such as transport”.
Foo said Millennium Garages offers ”exciting growth potential” for AMP Capital investors due to the strength of Chicago’s economic and demographic factors, stable and predictable cash flows and strong protections through the concession agreement.
Northleaf managing director and co-head of infrastructure George Zakem said: “Direct investments in conservatively positioned infrastructure assets such as Millennium Garages are consistent with Northleaf’s investment strategy.
“The investment offers significant potential for stable cash flows and attractive long-term returns for our investors.”
The partners believe making a significant long-term investment in a strategic asset for the City of Chicago provides long-term exposure to US GDP growth.
When announcing the agreement in February, Michael Nichols, chief executive at LMG2, said the company had been exploring the possible sale of the Millennium Garage concession since mid-2015.
LMG2 has in the past two years overseen the restoration of the Millennium Lakeside Garage, while investing in capital improvement projects across the parking facilities.
The company has stabilised the operating performance of its garages, having capitalised on growing demand for parking and other services in Chicago.