KKR has made its first infrastructure investment in New Zealand with the acquisition of Ritchies Transport, the country’s leading transportation operator.

IPE Real Assets understands that KKR will be investing around NZ$500m (€295m) on behalf of its KKR Asia-Pacific Infrastructure Fund in the New Zealand business.

Upon completion of the transaction, the Ritchie family will continue to hold a stake in the company, with Andrew Ritchie appointed as CEO and current managing director Glenn Ritchie, retiring.

Founded in Temuka in 1935, Ritchies operates a fleet of more than 1,600 vehicles and has a network of 42 depots across the country. It also runs government-contracted, nationwide school bus services and offers inter-regional long-haul, charter and tour bus services.

David Luboff, partner and head of Asia-Pacific infrastructure at KKR, said the investment reinforced KKR’s strong commitment to investing in critical infrastructure assets in New Zealand and globally through its expanding portfolio.

Andrew Jennings, a director on KKR’s Infrastructure team, said: “We see continued demand for high-quality, greener public transport solutions in New Zealand.

“Buses account for 75% of total public transport trips made in the country and play a critical role in connecting people to places. They also represent a highly visible opportunity to encourage the adoption of zero-emissions technology”

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