AustralianSuper, the NSW state government’s investment and financial management arm TCorp, Ivanhoé Cambridge and AXA IM Alts have partnered to buy Australia’s largest intermodal freight facility for A$1.67bn (€1bn).

The consortium is buying Moorebank Logistics Park (MLP) in southwest Sydney from Qube Holdings.

In its biggest direct property investment yet in Australia, AustralianSuper has taken a 40% stake in MLP for A$774m with the three other consortium members each having a “roughly 20%” stake in the 243-hectare industrial property.

Logos, the manager and development coordinator of the consortium, also has an equity interest in MLP.

Bevan Towning, AustralianSuper’s head of property, told IPE Real Assets: “We see MLP as a nationally-significant infrastructure development.

“It is going to change the way that containerised freight moves from (nearby) Port Botany through to Moorebank.”

MLP will service link Port Botany, Australia’s second-biggest container port. Towning said the super fund had a 20% interest in Port Botany.

He said: “We can develop up to 850,000sqm of high specification warehousing on the site. Currently, it has around 100,000sqm (of warehouse space).”

Asked if AustralianSuper had entered the logistics sector at the peak of the market, Towning said: “Our preference to invest in the sector is through a develop-to-core approach. That way, you get a higher return on costs than you would if just buying a completed investment.”

Towning said the fund adopted a similar strategy when it entered the New Zealand market with Logos in 2019. “We bought land and subsequently developed and leased a lot of warehouses on the Wiri industrial site.

“Hopefully, we will do the same thing in Moorebank. We are taking a bit more risk, but we think that when there is very strong demand, the risk is reasonable.

In a joint statement, the consortium partners said: “This acquisition positions the Logos consortium at the heart of a logistics revolution that will capture economic benefits as the MLP’s intermodal terminals ramp up, increasing the efficient transfer of goods from Port Botany to customers around Australia.”

The statement said both the federal and NSW governments had invested more than A$500m in infrastructure to the Moorebank locality, including MLP.

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