Canadian pension fund manager the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has partnered in a consortium that acquired the 99-year lease of TransGrid, owner and operator of an electricity transmission network in Australia. The consortium, NSW Electricity Networks, was selected by the New South Wales government to buy the lease for about $9.9 billion. The Caisse will hold 24.99 percent of the equity, which represents an investment of $1.15 billion. Other consortium members included an affiliate of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Australia’s Hastings Funds Management and Spark Infrastructure, and an affiliate of Kuwait Investment Authority.
CDPQ participates in the acquisition of the 99-year lease of Australia’s largest electricity transmission network
•Total transaction value of AUD 10.258 billion (CAD 9.90 billion)
•Acquisition carried out as part of the privatization of New South Wales’ electricity transmission network
•Strategic partnership of local and international investors combining operational and financial expertise
MONTRÉAL, Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ – NSW Electricity Networks (NSWEN), a consortium of investors including CDPQ (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec), announced today the acquisition of the 99-year lease of TransGrid, owner and operator of the electricity transmission network of the State of New South Wales in Australia. The network of high-voltage power lines spans close to 13,000 km and serves Sydney and Canberra, the country’s economic and political capitals.
As announced earlier today by the New South Wales Government, NSWEN has been selected to acquire of the 99-year lease of TransGrid’s core network infrastructure assets. The total value of the transaction is approximately AUD 10.258 billion (CAD 9.90 billion). CDPQ will hold 24.99% of the equity in the project, which represents an investment of AUD 1.2 billion (CAD 1.15 billion).
In addition to CDPQ, NSWEN includes Spark Infrastructure and Hastings Funds Management, two Australian investors who have considerable experience in managing electricity networks in Australia, as well as investors Tawreed Investments Ltd. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority) and Wren House Infrastructure Management, two global investors with a long track record in long-term investing.
This investment will enable CDPQ to deploy its international infrastructure expertise and deep understanding of regulated assets.
“The acquisition of the TransGrid lease is in line with our strategy to invest in high-quality assets, alongside local partners with sophisticated knowledge of the market and vast operational expertise. Through this transaction, we continue to diversify our assets globally,” said Macky Tall, Senior Vice-President, Infrastructure, at CDPQ. “TransGrid’s regulated revenues will generate stable and predictable returns for our clients over the long term.”
“The consortium will rely on the extensive experience of its members, whose common goal is to make long-term investments in high-quality infrastructure assets,” said Rick Francis, Acting Chair of NSWEN. “The members of the consortium have successfully participated in privatizations throughout the world and have the expertise required to ensure a harmonious transition of the public entities to sustain them throughout their growth.” NSWEN is committed to continue operation in a safe, reliable and efficient manner.
The members of NSWEN have invested in a wide range of public infrastructure worldwide, including electricity, gas, water distribution, ports, key arterial road infrastructure, and airports.
CDPQ’s strong presence in Australia
CDPQ has been active in Australia since 2012. In addition to having made a number of investments in social infrastructure with its partner Plenary, it acquired 30% of the Port of Brisbane in 2013. Its real estate subsidiary Ivanhoé Cambridge also acquired earlier this year 25% of Liberty Place, a high-quality office building complex located in Sydney.
CDPQ is present in Australia through its recently-opened subsidiary, CDPQ Sydney, which will enable it to maintain meaningful relations with local business partners and target the best investment opportunities in this market.
ABOUT CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC
CDPQ (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for Quebec public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at June 30, 2015, it held CAD 240.8 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ, which marks its 50th anniversary this year, invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate. CDPQ is present in Australia though its subsidiary, CDPQ Sydney. For more news and information, consult cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @laCDPQ, or on our Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
For further information: Jean-Benoît Houde, Senior Advisor, Media Relations, 514 847-5493, email@example.com
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