IFM expresses interest in Brisbane takeover

  • IFM bids for controlling share in Australian port in potential AUS$900 million deal

Industry Funds Management (IFM) has expressed an interest in taking control of Brisbane Port through the purchase of Global Investment Partners’ stake in the Queensland facility in a deal which could be worth as much as AUS$900 million.

Three years ago, Melbourne-based IFM, Brisbane-based QIC and Global Infrastructure Partners bought a 26.7 percent share in the Australian port after the Queensland government sold a 99-year lease for both the port and its facilities.

The timing of the sale was significant as it coincided with the collapse of Lehman Brothers meaning infrastructural assets were valued relatively low. The three parties paid around $575 million for their respective shares as part of the $2.3 billion Brisbane sale, report the Australian.

By selling its share in Brisbane Port for $900 million, Global Investment Partners has the potential to more than double its return on equity with the port now valued at around $3.37 billion, up 47 percent when compared to its value in 2010. Upon the sale, IFM would increase its share shareholding in the port to 53.4 percent.

According to the Australian, an offer has already been made by IFM to Global Infrastructure Partners, however the company has drafted in Morgan Stanley to oversee the deal in an attempt to attract further bids and push up the share price. Therefore, the sale of Global Investment Partners’ stake in Brisbane could take up to 12 weeks to complete.

The Port of Brisbane, located on the east coast of Queensland, boasts 29 operating berths and more than seven kilometres of quay line.

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