Macquarie is understood to have started to sell down its holding in Endeavour Energy, one of Australia’s largest electricity distribution companies, to three Korean investors, including National Pension Service (NPS).

Macquarie is believed to have closed a deal with the Public Officials Benefit Association (POBA) in South Korea for around KRW100bn (€74m) last week.

It is also believed to be holding ongoing discussions with NongHyup, South Korea’s national agricultural corporation, which plans to invest in a stake of equal size.

Separately, NPS is planning to buy a stake of at least KRW100bn won in Endeavour Energy. NPS and Macquarie are said to be in advanced negotiations, which are expected to conclude by the middle of October.

When approached for comment, a Macquarie spokesperson declined to comment.

However, it is known in Australian infrastructure circles that Macquarie holds a small stake in Endeavour on its own balance sheet, which it intends to sell down at a later stage.

In May, a Macquarie-led consortium known as Advance Energy won a highly competitive bid to acquire 50.4% of Endeavour Energy, a New South Wales government utility company, for just over AUD7.6bn (€5.06bn).

Macquarie provided AUD2.29bn for participation in the bid process.

Consortium members are Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets (30.16%); AMP Capital on behalf of the Australian superannuation fund REST Industry Super (25%); British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (25%); and the Qatar Investment Authority (19.84%).

Macquarie’s Australian Investment Trust, which was a consortium member, remains a long-term investor, said a source.

IPE Real Assets understands that Macquarie will continue to have a seat on the board of Advance Energy, the manager of Endeavour Energy’s business, which supplies electricity to 2.4m people in Sydney and surrounding regions.