Morgan Stanley Infrastructure in first Australian deal

06 November 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) looks set to fall into the hands of existing shareholders Link Group, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) plus Morgan Stanley Infrastructure (MSI), after a AUD 1.6bn bid (USD 1.15bn) lodged in early October.

The bid has “been accepted by shareholdings representing greater than 50% of PEXA’s issued capital”, Link Group, said today in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The bid was waved through late last night, Inframation understands. It is understood the deal is the first for Morgan Stanley Infrastructure in Australia after numerous attempts, including a rebuffed AUD 7bn tilt for listed gaming company Tatts Group in 2017

Although one of the larger shareholders of the consortium, sources close to the investor said the amount invested in PEXA is less than 10% of the USD 3.6bn allocated to the region, or under about USD 360m. The MSI fund making the investment is North Haven Infrastructure Partners II.

The final sum paid, however, may be open to change depending on the final level of acceptance by PEXA’s varying shareholders, some of whom may be keen to hold on to their stakes. This will be finalised in the coming weeks, Inframation understands.

These include four state governments, three of Australia’s biggest banks, as well as Macquarie Capitaland Paul Little’s Namarong Investments. It is understood the latter two are likely to hold on to their stakes. The Victorian government may do so as well.

The Western Australian government’s Landgate is also thought to be mulling its position. The state-owned land register is also set to be semi-commercialised shortly, with advisers Investec at the helm.

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