BBGI acquires third Aussie project

The Northern Territory prison was a pipeline asset in the £145m top-up capital pool the London-listed fund raised last December.

Bilfinger Berger Global Infrastructure (BBGI) has completed the purchase of a 50 percent stake in the Northern Territories Secure Facility (NTSF).

Located on a greenfield site near Darwin, Northern Australia, the asset is a new 1,000-bed correctional facility with a concession term running until June 2044. BBGI is to receive availability payments from the Northern Territory government, rated Aa1 by Moody’s, during the period.

The facility’s construction is being undertaken by a joint venture between Australian developers Baulderstone (now a subsidiary of Lend Lease) and Sitzler. Honeywell will assume responsibility for the facility management upon completion of the works, while the Northern Territory government will provide custodial services. The project is expected to be operational in the second half of this year.

NTSF was a pipeline asset in the recent £145 million (€174 million; $241 million) capital raise completed by BBGI last December. The acquisition was funded using the fund’s existing cash resources.

NTSF marks the third asset bought by BBGI in Australia, after Royal Women’s Hospital and Victoria Prisons. The fund, which manages 28 assets, has a market capitalisation of £511 million.

BBGI was launched by German developer Bilfinger Berger in December 2011, raising £212 million on the London Stock Exchange earmarked for investment in roads, education, healthcare, justice and other sectors. The pipeline considered then included 19 assets from Bilfinger’s portfolio.

The firm has since been busy purchasing assets from other buyers last year, but its latest fundraise was largely aimed at funding further acquisitions from its parent group. The 11-project pipeline included assets in Australia, North America and Europe.

The fund currently trades at a 16.4 percent premium to net asset value (NAV), the highest premium in its public-private partnership (PPP) peer group.