Caisse said to buy near 1billion stake in Australias Port of Brisbane

MONTREAL — Quebec pension fund manager, the Caisse de depot, says it is buying a 26.7% stake in Australia’s Port of Brisbane, reportedly for nearly $1-billion.The institutional investor is purchasing the interest held by Global Infrastructure Partners, a New York-based private equity firm that specializes in infrastructure investments, following a bidding process launched earlier this year.The Caisse says a confidentiality agreement prevents it from disclosing the purchase price. But Bloomberg, citing sources, reported the transaction is valued at AU$1-billion ($960-million.)Macky Tall, the manager’s senior vice-president of infrastructure, called the acquisition a “first-class asset,” adding that the investment will “step up” its presence in the resilient market and diversify its portfolio.Australia’s third-largest port was privatized in 2010. It handles more than 37 tonnes of international cargo annually valued at around $50-billion. It is also the closest major container port to Australia’s largest trading market in the Asia-Pacific rim.The transaction is expected to close by Dec. 18.The port is owned by Q Port Holdings consortium, whose other members include IFM Investors, QIC Global Infrastructure, and Tawreed Investments Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.The Caisse is Canada’s second-largest pension fund manager, handling funds primarily for public and private pension and insurance plans. As at June 30, 2013, it held $185.9-billion in net assets.The Canadian Press

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