DUET Group seeks independence from AMP, Macquarie

The Australian Stock Exchange-listed regulated utility investor will, subject to shareholder approval, break away from its joint venture managers AMP Capital and Macquarie. AMP says it would receive A$41m from such a deal.

DUET Group, an Australian Stock Exchange-listed infrastructure investment firm, has put forward a proposal that would see it transition to independent management. The firm, which has a portfolio of regulated energy utility assets, is currently managed by an AMP Capital/Macquarie Capital Group joint venture.

A statement released by AMP Capital, the Australian fund manager, said that consideration amounting to A$41 million (€35 million; $43 million) would be payable to AMP Capital under the “management internalisation” proposal. It added that this consideration would be used to subscribe for DUET stapled securities.

The statement also said that, during the transition to independent management, AMP Capital and Macquarie would provide support services up to 30 June 2013, for which a separate fee would be received.

Completion of the proposal is subject to a minimum of 50 percent approval by DUET security holders voting at a general meeting expected to be held in late October this year.

DUET was formed in June 2003 as a collection of wholesale unit trusts before listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in August 2004 – at which point, AMP Capital established a joint venture by selling to Macquarie 50 percent of the entities that held DUET management rights.

DUET’s portfolio includes investments in Western Australia’s Dampier Bunbury Pipeline as well as United Energy and Multinet Gas, which both provide energy supplies to eastern areas of Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.   

In September last year, DUET completed the $357 million sale of a 29 percent stake in Pennsylvania utility Duquesne Light to the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation. The proceeds were used to retire a corporate bridge facility.