Aussie supers list A$1.2bn Sydney Airport interest

Two Australian superfunds and a Canadian pension plan investor have chosen to retain their minority stake in Sydney Airport through a public listing.

In an effort to simply its complex ownership structure, Sydney Airport has issued shares to list the 15.2 percent of the asset owned by unlisted minority investors, according to an Australian Stock Exchange announcement. Most of the minority investors have chosen to retain their stake in Sydney airport through securities. 

The major institutional minority investors included the Canadian Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), the Australian government Future Fund, and Australian superannuation funds Motor Trades Association of Australia Superannuation Fund (MTAA) and Unisuper. In all, these investors will continue to hold an 11.3 percent stake in Sydney Airport through the public markets. 

To buy out the unlisted minority stakes, Sydney Airport has issued 333 million new securities, which adds up to A$1.2 billion (€823 million; $1.1 billion) based on the airport’s most recent trading price of A$3.60 per share. After the buyout is completed on August 21, Sydney Airport will be 100 percent owned by the listed entity. 

The restructuring is also expected to bring a new A$1.8 billion to A$2 billion interest-bearing loan to the company. All four institutional investors involved in this equities swap expressed the hope to remain invested in Sydney Airport for some time. 

“The transaction further strengthens the liquidity position of the Fund while remaining a part owner of a high quality, essential infrastructure asset,” MTAA Super Chairman John Brumby said. “The Fund considers infrastructure to be an attractive asset class to harvest returns for members as a long term investment.” 

MTAA first acquired an interest in Sydney Airport when it was privatised in 2002. “The asset is an integral component of the fund’s infrastructure portfolio and has produced an internal rate of return since inception of 20.4 percent per annum,” MTAA chief executive Leeanne Turner said in a statement.