CP2 wins Transurban board seat

Bob Officer, a member of the Australian asset manager’s board of directors, will join the toll road operator as a non-executive director.

CP2, the Australian asset manager that recently backed an A$7.2 billion (€5.1 billion; $6.5 billion) takeover bid for Transurban, has won a seat on the board of the Australian toll road operator.

Bob Officer, a board member of CP2, has agreed to join the board of Transurban as a new non-executive director, the firm said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

The appointment comes barely a week after David Ryan, chairman of the company since 2007, made a surprise resignation. He was replaced by Lindsay Maxted, former chief executive of KPMG Australia and a member of Transurban’s board of directors since early 2008.

Officer is a professor emeritus of Melbourne University and an honorary professor at the University of Queensland, Transurban said. He has also served as CP2’s valuation expert since 1997.

CP2, at 13 percent still Transurban’s largest owner, cheered Officer’s appointment as “good news for Transurban shareholders”, according to a statement.

Earlier this year, CP2’s relationship with Transurban took a hit when the Transurban board rejected a takeover bid from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and CP2 on the basis that their A$7.2 billion offer was too low.

However, CP2 indicated that Officer’s appointment could at least help smooth things over.

“The appointment of Bob further deepens the 13 year relationship between Transurban and CP2,” CP2 Managing Director Peter Doherty said in a statement.

Officer will stand for election at Transurban’s annual general meeting on 26 October, Transurban said.