A Macquarie Group and AMP Capital-led consortium beat competition from a team spearheaded by Hastings Funds Management to win the auction for the 99-year lease of 50.4 percent of New South Wales grid Endeavour Energy.
The Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, AMP Capital, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation and Qatar Investment Authority consortium will pay A$7.624 billion ($5.6 billion; €5.2 billion) for the stake. MIRA owns 30.16 percent of the consortium, while AMP Capital manages 25 percent on behalf of REST Industry Super, with bcIMC holding a share of equal size. QIA owns 19.84 percent.
The NSW government, which will retain 49.6 percent of Endeavour, said the team had received all the necessary regulatory clearances and been approved by the Treasurer “following advice” from the country’s foreign investment watchdog.
A Hastings and Spark Infrastructure consortium also bid for the grid, according to sources close to the deal.
Endeavour, which supplies electricity to about 2.4 million people in the state, is the third and latest pole-and-wire business to be divested by the government as part of its ‘asset-recycling’ programme.
In 2015, NSW exited Transgrid for A$10.3 billion to a group comprising Hastings Funds Management, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Spark Infrastructure, Kuwait Investment Authority’s Wren House and Tawreed Investments, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
Nearly a year later, it sold a 50.4 percent stake in the 99-year lease of Ausgrid to IFM Investors and AustralianSuper following the latter’s unsolicited bid, which came after the state blocked offers by two Chinese institutions.
“Through initiatives like asset recycling and our strong financial management, we have catapulted NSW from the bottom of the national economic ladder right to the very top,” said Treasurer Dominic Perrottet.
The news comes as AMP Capital gears up to launching a second global infrastructure fund, which a source said would likely launch towards the end of the year. The firm reached a final close on its debut global offering this January on $2.4 billion.
AMP Capital declined to comment.