Palisade acquires half of A$288m agri PPP

The Australian fund manager has bought a 49.9% stake in Melbourne’s Centre for AgriBioscience.

Palisade Investment Partners (Palisade), the Sydney-headquartered fund manager, has reached contractual close on the acquisition of a 49.9 percent equity interest in the Centre for AgriBioscience (AgriBio).

AgriBio is an agricultural research centre of excellence located at La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus in the suburb of Bundoora.

The centre was delivered as a A$288 million (€199 million; $267 million) public-private partnership (PPP) project by the Victoria state government under its “Partnerships Victoria” scheme.

Construction of the centre was completed last year and its operational revenues are underpinned by availability payments from the state of Victoria under a 25-year concession agreement.

The deal struck by Palisade is part of its alliance agreement with Canadian/Australian developer Plenary Group and Canadian asset manager Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec. The two partners have project equity stakes in AgriBio of 10.2 percent and 39.9 percent respectively.

The alliance agreement gives Palisade a first right of refusal to invest in all Plenary-originated PPP assets.

Palisade will hold its stake in its Palisade Australian Social Infrastructure Fund (PASIF), a fund which launched in May 2011 to target greenfield and brownfield PPP assets, and which – according to a statement – has delivered a return to date of 16.9 percent.

Other assets in the fund include Casey Hospital Victoria, South Australian Police and Courts, and Gold Coast Rapid Transit.