Future Fund has bought a 19.8% stake in the 39km EastLink toll road in southeastern Australia from New Zealand Super and a US investor, Teachers Insurance Annuity of America.

A sale price of between A$1.7bn and A$2bn (€1bn and €1.2bn) was reported but has not been confirmed by Future Fund.

While declining to comment, a source close to the A$272bn Australian sovereign wealth fund told IPE Real Assets: “The value of the asset has been recalibrated to reflect the cost of capital.”

The stake came to market after other members of a consortium of pension funds which owns EastLink toll road in Melbourne, declined to take up their pre-emptive right in the stake held in the holding company known as Horizon Roads.

Members of the consortium include APG, which has a 15% holding, and South Korea’s National Pension Service. These pension funds have owned the toll road since 2011, when the project was completed at a cost of A$2.5bn.

The Future Fund is expected to appoint the Queensland Investment Corporation, a long-established investor in toll roads in its own right, to manage the EastLink asset.

One source said the vendors would make an announcement when all the minute details in the transaction had been finalised.  But he said broadly an agreement had been reached to sell the stake.

Transurban which owns eight key Australian toll roads, mostly in Sydney, was blocked last September by the competition regulation from buying the stake in EastLink.

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