Australia’s Future Fund and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) are poised to exit their investment in port terminals operator DP World Australia, according to industry sources.
It is believed that Future Fund has a 20% stake in DP World Australia through a fund managed by New York-based Corsair Capital.
PSP has a 25% stake in the Australian subsidiary of the Dubai-based global marine group, DP World.
DP World Australia operates at each of Australia’s four big container ports in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, DP World in 2011 sold down its Australian interests to shore up its financial position.
When approached for comment, a spokesman for DP World confirmed to IPE Real Assets that his company has a 25% stake in DP World Australia.
Asked about reports that the Future Fund and PSP were seeking to exit, he said: “We cannot comment on what the remaining shareholders may or may not do.”
The Future Fund and Corsair have both declined to comment.
Investment banking sources in Australia say that Corsair, which took over management of the 75% equity stake from Citi Infrastructure Partners, is a co-investor and manager of the investor.
These sources said Credit Suisse has been briefed to find new investors to take over the interest of the Future Fund.
But PSP’s intentions are currently unclear.
The interests of the two large investors are said to be worth more than AUD2bn (€1.27bn).
The sources said a new fund was expected to be set up to provide a vehicle for incoming investors.
The scenario is Corsair will be able to wind up the existing vehicle to allow existing investors to exit.
The sources said DP World has pre-emptive rights to buy back some or all of the shares currently held by existing investors.
DP World is now the largest player in Australia’s stevedore service industry, controlling almost half of the market.