AustralianSuper, the nation’s largest pension fund, has offered to buy New Zealand’s Infratil for $NZ5.4 billion ($5.1 billion), in its biggest takeover approach for a listed company as it seeks to bolster returns.
The cash and stock offer values Infratil shares at NZ$7.43 each, a 22 per cent premium to Tuesday’s closing price in Wellington.
AustralianSuper said it was attracted by Infratil’s assets in New Zealand and Australia, including stakes in renewable energy companies, Wellington Airport and data centres. An acquisition would expand its own global infrastructure portfolio valued at $20 billion, the Melbourne-based pension fund said in a statement.
The deal comes as Australia’s $2.9 trillion pension industry, where 9.5 per cent of a worker’s gross salary is paid into a retirement fund each month, looks to deploy its growing pile of cash. Funds that typically favoured stocks and government bonds are making bigger bets, buying assets such as airports and toll-roads, and taking companies private to reap stable, long-term returns.