North America: IFM, bcIMC take equity stakes in ports operator

07 June 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) struck a deal to recapitalize GCT Global Container Terminals after IFM Investors and British Columbia Investment Management (bcIMC) agreed to take a 37.5% stake and 25% stake, respectively, in the Vancouver, Canada-based ports operator.

Advising OTPP on the deal was Sullivan & Cromwell (legal), Macquarie Capital and CIBC (financial). The investment bankers had been mandated in 2016 to consider strategic alternatives for the ports operator.

Earlier this year, OTPP had been sifting through multiple offers for stakes in GCT, as reportedThe bidding process was heated as multiple infrastructure funds pension funds eyed the investment, resulting in a heated bidding process, sources said.

GCT owns two ports in the New York area – GCT Bayonne and GCT New York— and two in British Columbia, GCT Deltaport and GCT Vanterm.

IFM is an active investor in ports, with equity stakes in Australia’s Port of Brisbane, Port Botany and Port Kembla. It also owns a stake in the Mersin International Port in Turkey.

bcIMC, which had CAD 135.5bn of assets under management as of March 2017, also has direct investments in Australia-based ports operations: Asciano Bulk and Automotive Ports Services and the Patrick Container Terminal Business, according to Inframation Deals.

OTPP and IFM did not immediately return calls seeking comment. bcIMC declined comment on the situation.