La Caisse claims Australian port stake

The C$185bn pension purchased 27% of the Port of Brisbane from Global Infrastructure Partners.

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) agreed to a deal that handed La Caisse rights to the Port of Brisbane, a GIP asset dating back to 2010.

Fund operator GIP sold its 26.7 percent stake in the Brisbane, Australia container port to pension plan manager CDPQ on Thursday for an undisclosed sum. Both GIP and La Caisse publicly announced the transaction.

“The Port is now well-positioned for future growth,” said Adebayo Ogunlesi, chairman and managing partner of GIP, in a statement. Macky Tall, senior vice president, infrastructure for La Caisse, meanwhile called the port a “first-class asset”.

GIP in November 2010 bought interest in the Port of Brisbane as a member of ‘Q Port Holdings’ (QPH), a consortium numbering the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), asset manager IFM Investors and Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC).

QPH leased the Port from the Government of Queensland for 99 years in return for A$2.1 billion (C$2.4 billion; $1.9 billion). Queensland (QLD) is the second-largest and third-most-populous state in Australia, forming the northeast corner of the continent.

The Port of Brisbane is the third-largest diversified harbour in Australia. Last year, 38 million tons of cargo passed through the Port, including more than 1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers.

In securing the Port, CDPQ, with C$185.9 billion ($174 billion; €129 billion) in assets under management (AUM) outbid Borealis Infrastructure, the infrastructure investment arm of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) and AustralianSuper.

Consortium partner IFM Investors—formerly Industry Funds Management (IFM)—had earlier tried to cut a deal with GIP for its part of the Port, but GIP instead auctioned its stake.

The sale is expected to close by December 18.