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Infratil reviews stake in ANU student accommodation

By Gavin Evans

Nov. 7 (BusinessDesk) - Infratil is looking to sell or restructure its stake in a Canberra student accommodation concession after failing to find other investments in the sector.

The company says the Australian National University portfolio stands out by scale and quality in Australia’s purpose-built student accommodation sector. But when it bought the concession in August 2016 it had expected it to become a cornerstone element in a larger portfolio.

“Those investment opportunities have not yet eventuated,” the company said in a statement on the ASX.

“Accordingly, Infratil will engage with market participants over the coming months to consider proposals for its investment, which may include sale or other options.”

Infratil paid almost $85 million for half the 30-year concession offered by ANU. The balance was bought by Commonwealth Superannuation Corp.

The proposed sale is the latest as the Wellington-based investor looks to reduce the complexity of its portfolio and recycle capital out of peripheral assets into faster-growing sectors and locations.

Earlier this month the company hired Gresham Partners to advise on the potential sale of its controlling stake in Perth Energy, which it first bought into in 2007.

The firm has also been reviewing the future of its NZ Bus business.

Infratil’s major investments include controlling or partnership stakes in Trustpower, Wellington International Airport, Tilt Renewables and US-based Longroad Energy. It also has interests in retirement villages and data centres in Australia.

Infratil says the ANU review is likely to take six months.



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