Australia’s second-largest superannuation fund, First State Super in NSW, has partnered a Sydney-based private equity company, Altis Property Partners, to buy two secondary airports in Sydney’s southwest for AUD203m (€140m).
The BAC HoldCo consortium, whose shareholders included AustralianSuper, Colonial First State and listed property group Mirvac, sold the assets.
Bankstown and Camden airports, 20km southwest of central Sydney, are among the busiest in Australia for light aircraft.
The bigger of the two airports, Bankstown, is considered Australia’s fifth-largest general airport.
The two airports, privatised in 2003, are held under long-term leases with the Australian government.
First State Super said the region surrounding the airports was set to benefit from big infrastructure spending.
The area has been designated for major new infrastructure, with investment of almost AUD9bn, funded by the NSW State and Australian Federal governments.
About 90% of income from the two airports comes from existing facilities, with more than half of all tenants in the aviation industry.
The airports together house more than 175 tenants on a weighted average lease expiry of more than six years.
They carry surplus development land in prime position expected to benefit from an AUD160m development on adjoining sites proposed by Sydney’s property company, Leda Holdings.
Until 2013, First State Super did not own direct infrastructure assets, although it has invested in infrastructure funds.
First State Super made its first direct infrastructure investment in the AUD2.1bn Sydney Light Rail when it joined the ALTRAC consortium.
Earlier this year, the consortium took over maintenance and operation of the existing Inner West Light Rail in Sydney.
The fund has so far focused on Australia but has “reprioritised” to look overseas, with greenfield infrastructure in Asia one area of interest.