Existing investors pick up North Queensland Airports stake

Auckland International Airport is selling its 24.6% for $295m, with Perron Investments and The Infrastructure Fund agreeing to bolster their holdings in two Australian hubs.

Auckland International Airport is offering its 24.6 percent stake in North Queensland Airports to existing investors, which include Perron Investments and The Infrastructure Fund, for A$370 million ($294.6 million; €240 million).

“While all existing NQA investors are entitled to purchase their pro rata share of Auckland Airport’s interest, two of them, Perron Investments and The Infrastructure Fund, have already agreed that they will accept up to the entire offer comprising all of Auckland Airport’s interest,” said the New Zealand airport operator in a statement.

NQA, which owns and manages Cairns Airport and Mackay Airport in Australia, is currently owned by a private consortium formed of IIF Cairns Mackay Investment, a fund advised by JPMorgan Asset Management, The Infrastructure Fund, Perron Investments and Auckland Airport. Auckland Airport bought its stake from Westpac Bank for A$132.8 million in 2010.

Perron is a privately owned investment vehicle of Australian billionaire Stan Perron, while The Infrastructure Fund is a A$2.4 billion domestic investment vehicle, which removed Hastings as its portfolio manager in August last year after 17 years of management as it decided to redesign and renegotiate its asset management services.

“Following the completion of our strategic review in August 2017, we have undertaken discussions with both existing investors and third parties regarding a potential purchase of our interest in NQA,” said Adrian Littlewood, chief executive of Auckland Airport.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory and counterparty approvals, is expected to help Auckland Airport focus on growing travel, trade and tourism businesses in its home market, as well as to recycle the proceeds into the aeronautical investment plan over the next five years, according to Littlewood.