HICL completes Victoria PPP disposal

Investor HICL has completed the sale of its 9.7% interest in the Victoria Desalination PPP Project.

The company, advised by InfraRed Capital Partners, entered into an agreement to sell its interest to AMP Capital and UniSuper in August. This transaction has now completed following the receipt of consents and the consideration of $161m.

The UK fund will use the proceeds to reduce the balance on its revolving credit facility (RFC), allowing for further accretive investments to be made by the group. Following completion of the disposal, drawings on the RCF are forecast to be in the region of £70m.

Harry Seekings, director at InfraRed said: "This transaction reflects InfraRed's ability both to source attractive opportunities and to take advantage of favourable market conditions. The purchasers are existing shareholders in the project. They therefore bring familiarity and provide continuity to the project."

AMP Capital acquired an additional 6.8% on behalf of investors in its Community Infrastructure Fund (CommIF). The deal will take AMP Capital’s share of the project to 16.5%, following the acquisition of a 5.2% stake in September 2016 and another 4.55% stake in December 2017.

Charles Savage, CommIF fund manager, said: “The Victorian Desalination Plant is known for its world-class design and sustainable practices. The acquisition increases the fund’s exposure to the water sector and will sit alongside existing water assets such as Riverland Water and AquaTower.

“CommIF holds a strong track record in the community infrastructure market as a leading investor and manager of PPP assets. We look forward to continuing our momentum by working with state governments and key stakeholders to deliver value-for-money projects that benefit the community.”

CommIF’s legal advisors were Clayton Utz.

The project is the largest desalination plant in the Southern Hemisphere.