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Aussie Infra Fund exits Port of Portland for $66m

The fund has sold its 50% stake in the port to Palisade Investment Partners, after having netted an average return of 24% per year since it bought into the asset in 2000 for $17m.

The Australian Infrastructure Fund (AIX), managed by Hastings Funds Management, has lifted anchor from the Port of Portland after owning 50 percent of the port for the last 12 years.

AIX sold its stake in the port to fellow Australian infrastructure fund manager Palisade Investment Partners, which bought the 50 percent stake for $66 million via subsidiary Palisade Ports. AIX said the stake was independently valued at about $71 million at December 31 2011. It added it bought into Port of Portland in 2000 for $17 million, earning a total average return per year of about 24 percent ever since.

The Hastings-managed fund has been divesting steadily since the year began, selling its positions in Port of Geelong and Metro Transport Sydney. Together with Port of Portland, AIX is expected to net some $100.8 million from the three asset sales, which were valued independently at a combined $100.4 million at the end of last year, AIX said.

The exits mark the end of a round of non-core asset sales, chief executive Jeff Pollock commented in a statement: “With the divestment of AIX’s interests in the Port of Portland, AIX has successfully completed the divestment of its non-core assets.”

RBC Capital Markets and Freehills advised AIX on the deal with King & Wood Mallesons advising Palisade Investment Partners.