MAp, Ontario Teachers' agree to airport swap

MAp Airports has agreed to exchange its interests in two European airports for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board’s 11% interest in Sydney Airport. MAp will also receive a cash payment of about A$791m.

Canadian pension manager Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPP) has agreed to exchange its stake in Sydney Airport for MAp Airports’ minority interests in two European airports.

OTPP has also agreed to give Sydney-listed MAp a cash payment of A$791 million (€596.3 million; $843.4 million) as part of the deal, according to a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

As a result of the deal, OTPP will lose its 11 percent interest in Sydney Airport and gain a 39 percent interest in Brussels Airport and a 30 percent interest in Copenhagen Airport, according to an OTPP statement.

MAp said it will own 85 percent of Sydney Airports following the exchange, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Last month, MAp announced a proposal for the asset swap, and estimated that it would receive a cash payment of A$850 million. MAp chief executive Kerrie Mather said in a statement that the current binding agreement “remains compelling despite the adverse impact of foreign exchange movements on the cash component”.

Mather said the asset swap is a “transformational transaction” that will result in “the repositioning of MAp with a sole focus on Sydney Airport”.

OTPP, which first invested in Sydney Airport in 2002, has also invested in two UK airports at Birmingham and Bristol. OTPP acquired a 35.5 percent stake in Bristol Airport from MAp in 2009 for £128 million, increasing its interest in the airport to 49 percent. Together with Australian investor Victorian Funds Management, OTPP  acquired a 48.25 percent  interest in Birmingham International Airport from MAp and Aer Rianta for about £420 million in 2007.

OTPP manages assets of C$107.5 billion (€79.6 billion; $112.5 billion), including infrastructure investments of C$7.1 billion, according to the pension fund’s most recent annual report.