Aus & NZ: MIRA close to securing TIF mandate

18 September 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets is set to be anointed the AUD 2.5bn The Infrastructure Fund (TIF)’s new external manager.

TIF is also fundraising from existing and new investors to begin investing again in Australian and offshore assets.

TIF trustee, Gardior, would not comment on which of the two final candidates it had chosen, but in an emailed statement to Inframation it confirmed a decision to move to an “external asset management model for TIF was made by the Gardior board on 17 July”.

“Gardior will not be commenting on the detail of commercial-in-confidence discussions with MIRA or any other entity,” it added.

“All decisions made in relation to TIF have been made – and will continue to be made – in the best interests of all unitholders. The Gardior board is committed to safeguarding the long-term strategies already in place for each TIF asset, and to working cooperatively with its shareholders at the various TIF asset companies.”

MIRA and asset investment adviser StepStone are understood to have been the only two left in the running since early this year. 

Prior to the 17 July meeting, the Gardior board was still considering whether to internalise management or go with an external manager. It has since disbanded the internal management team it had in place and, as reported, several sources have said MIRA is the preferred option.

A spokesperson for Macquarie declined to comment.

On its website, Gardior said TIF has identified Australian and international investment opportunities. “Accessing these pipeline opportunities requires TIF to have a flow of new capital from existing investors and new investors.” The last investment  of the TIF fund was in the NSW Land and Property Information service concession, which closed in June 2017, when TIF was still managed by Hastings.

Gardior also appointed Chris Artis, Chief Investment Officer of the Meat Industry’s Employees Super Fund, as another new director on 24 August. 

Other board changes include: Former chairman Bob Lette left Gardior in late April. He was replaced as chairman by Jon Addison, an independent director of Gardior. 

Super fund BUSSQ CIO David O’Sullivan replaced Lette as a BUSSQ representative at Gardior on 16 May.

Suncorp and the Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund’s representatives – Nick Basile and Ian Gillings respectively – left soon after Lette.

They were replaced by Michael Block and Andrew McMaugh respectively on 18 June.

TIF’s investments include Port of Newcastle, Electranet, UK rolling stock company Porterbrook, Perth Airport and Sydney Desalination Plants.

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