CIC plugs $900m into Port of Melbourne

South Korea’s NPS is also understood to be a member of the GIP and QIC-led consortium that acquired the lease of Australia’s busiest container port earlier this week.

China Investment Corporation has invested $900 million in the 50-year lease of Port of Melbourne, an A$9.7 billion ($7.4 billion; €6.69 billion) deal that closed on Monday. 

The $747 billion sovereign wealth fund participated in the transaction as a co-investor alongside an Australia-focused fund managed by Global Infrastructure Partners , according to sources familiar with the matter. CIC is a limited partner in GIP's A$2.75 billion Australian infrastructure fund, which closed this March, the sources said. The Chinese fund's Port of Melbourne investment is understood to be a separate commitment.

GIP and CIC are part of the team which acquired Asciano, one of Australia's largest freight logistics businesses, for A$9.05 billion in August.

National Pension Service  of Korea is also understood to be a member in the consortium that acquired the Port of Melbourne lease. The Korean pension reportedly invested $500 million in the asset, and its stake is said to be managed by GIP.

The Lonsdale Consortium, which includes GIP, QIC, Australia's Future Fund and Canada's OMERS, was chosen as preferred bidder in September. The transaction achieved financial close this Monday, the Victorian government said.

CIC declined to comment. NPS and GIP had not responded to queries by press time. 

In addition to its Australian investments, CIC recently teamed up with Hermes Investment Management to bid for the UK's National Grid, according to sources. Other members in the CIC team include German investment manager Allianz, UK fund managers Dalmore Capital and Amber Infrastructure, and Australia's Macquarie Group, the sources added. The transaction is expected to value National Grid at more than £11 billion, including debt, according to reports. 

CIC has been looking to co-invest alongside other financial and industry players since establishing CIC Capital, its direct investment unit, in January last year.