AMP Capital buys Partners Group's stake in Victorian Cancer Centre

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Partners Group has sold its 21% stake in the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC), in Melbourne, Australia,  to AMP Capital.

AMP Capital acquired the stake on behalf of its Community Infrastructure Fund (CommIF), which now has 13 assets worth more than AUD650m (€421.5m).

Neither the seller nor the buyer was prepared to disclose the transaction price.

The complex was completed on budget for AUD1bn in June 2016. A Victoria government website lists the net present value of the VCCC as AUD1.27bn.

The facility, which spreads over 13 levels, has 160 inpatient beds, 110 day beds and eight operating theatres, and can host up to 1,200 researchers.

It operates as a public private partnership (PPP) with the Victorian state government under a 25-year concession.

Julie-Anne Mizzi, AMP Capital head of social infrastructure and aged care, said: “This acquisition follows successful fundraising campaign for CommIF where we raised AUD360m from existing investors through a rights-issue offer in September 2017 and from new and existing investors who have made commitments since October 2017.”

Overseas investors have shown increased interest in CommIF, said Mizzi, adding that the fund “holds a strong track record in the social infrastructure market”.

CommIF invests in high-yield, brownfield, social infrastructure PPP assets in Australia and New Zealand in sectors such as education, health, justice, defence, community housing, recreational facilities and transport.

Partners Group was part of the Plenary Health Consortium, jointly led by the Australian company, Plenary Group, and Canadian contractor, PCL Construction, which successfully pitched for the right to develop the project in late 2011.

The Plenary Health Consortium also includes three Australian super funds - HESTA and Unisuper and Care Super. Canada’s Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) invested AUD40.5m in the project.

A Partners Group source told IPE Real Assets: “Generally speaking, we are open to taking advantage of market conditions, which is currently quite a favourable climate for exit of infrastructure assets. We were an initial investor in VCCC.”

In a statement on the sale, Benjamin Haan, Partners Group’s partner, head of private infrastructure Asia, said now that it is fully operational, the research centre has received strong interest from potential buyers.

Consequently, Partners Group decided to divest its stake in this centre to an “experienced investor with a long-term investment horizon and a socially responsible investment remit”.

The divestment was ahead of the group’s original investment plan, he said.

Haan added Partners Group continues to be a strong supporter of Australian PPP projects on behalf of its clients.

In September 2014, the Swiss group invested in the PPP project to build and operate the new Sydney Metro Northwest rail service for the New South Wales government

Partners Group became an investor in Melbourne’s High Capacity Metro Trains PPP, an AUD2bn project to deliver 65 trains to Victoria in 2016.

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