The Infrastructure Fund (TIF) and a private group controlled by Australian billionaire Stan Perron have increased their stake in two regional Australian airports in Northern Queensland for AUD370m (€240.3m).
The seller is co-shareholder Auckland International Airport, which was a part of a consortium, known as North Queensland Airports (NQA). NQA owns Cairns Airport and Mackay Airport.
Auckland Airport has agreed to sell its 24.6% stake in NQA to the two existing investors.
An infrastructure fund, managed by JP Morgan Asset Management, which holds a 50% stake in the airport company, did not participate in the sale.
Auckland Airport said that while all existing NQA investors are entitled to purchase their pro rata share of Auckland Airport’s interest, two of them, Perron Investments and TIF, took up the offer.
Auckland Airport chief executive, Adrian Littlewood said: “Following the completion of our strategic review in August 2017, we have undertaken discussions with both existing investors and third parties regarding a potential purchase of our interest in NQA.
“After an extensive process, we are very pleased to have reached a position that will result in a sale of our entire interest and that two existing and experienced infrastructure investors have agreed to support NQA in the next stage of its development.”
Littlewood said in a statement that the sale will enable Auckland Airport to focus attention on growing its New Zealand travel, trade and tourism businesses.
It plans to recycle the sale proceeds into supporting the “significant step up” in aeronautical investment at Auckland Airport over the next five years.
The sale will be subject only to securing necessary regulatory and counterparty approvals (if any) and completed in accordance with the requirements of the NQA security holders agreement.
Auckland Airport bought its stake in NQA in 2010 for AUD132m from Westpac Bank, the owner of Hastings Funds Management.
Hastings currently manages TIF, which manages a range of Australian assets, valued at AUD1.88bn at June 30, 2017.
But last year TIF unitholders voted in an extraordinary meeting to replace Hastings as its manager.
There is a 12-month transition period before the change of management will take effect.