Infrastructure investment firm Stonepeak and Australian fund Spirit Super will buy out Australia’s GeelongPort Pty Limited (GeelongPort).
Under the terms of the A$1.1 billion ($730 million) agreement, Stonepeak will hold a majority 70 per cent interest in the entity and Spirit Super will have a 30 per cent stake.
GeelongPort is Victoria’s second largest port located approximately 75 kilometres southwest of Melbourne within Victoria’s largest regional city, Geelong.
GeelongPort is a diversified landlord port and a major driver of Victoria’s economy, managing over A$7 billion ($4.6 billion) of trade and supporting more than 1,800 jobs across the state.
GeelongPort comprises 15 berths over two primary precincts, Corio Quay and Lascelles Wharf, providing land, infrastructure, and services to facilitate trade for some of Victoria’s largest businesses.
GeelongPort handles close to 12 million tonnes of cargo and more than 600 vessel visits each year.
“As a high-quality landlord port with operations that are critical to Australia’s economy, GeelongPort is a natural fit for Stonepeak’s core infrastructure strategy,” said Darren Keogh, Senior Managing Director at Stonepeak.
“It is a highly contracted entity with strong barriers to entry and stable and predictable demand drivers, which we believe are even more compelling when coupled with the port’s meaningful opportunities for long-term growth through additional development to meet future import-export demand in the region.”
“We are excited for what our investment will mean for the long-term growth of GeelongPort and pleased that members will now own a direct stake in one of Australia’s largest regional infrastructure assets,” said Ross Barry, Chief Investment Officer at Spirit Super.
“As the fund for hard working Australians, a key investment focus for the fund has been regional Australia, where we believe there is strong potential for long-term growth.”
The transaction is expected to close towards the end of the first quarter of 2023, subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Stonepeak is a US-based investment firm specialising in infrastructure and real assets with approximately $51.7 billion of assets under management.
Spirit Super was established in 2021 through the merger of Tasplan and MTAA Super.
Earlier this year the Victorian Government released a new strategy outlining its five-year priorities to turbocharge growth in the state.