Queensland government-owned fund manager QIC and its Dutch partner the Schiphol Group has acquired a 70 per cent stake in Hobart Airport.
The consortium has acquired 50 per cent of the asset from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and 19.9 per cent from multi-industry super fund Tasplan Super.
Both consortium partners will acquire an equal 35 per cent stake and act as independent shareholders after the deal. Tasplan has retained the remaining 30 per cent stake in the asset.
A deadline for bids on the asset were reportedly due on Friday. Macquarie did not disclose the terms of the deal, but the Financial Review’s street talk column said it represented a valuation of 25 to 26-times earnings.
The Schiphol Group group said it is familiar with the Australian market through its “successful participation in Brisbane Airport”.
Schiphol, which owns and operates the Amsterdam Airport, is a 19.6 per cent shareholder in Brisbane’s Airport Corporation.
The increasingly busy Hobart Airport, which has plans for a $200 million terminal expansion project currently in place, recently completed a $4.5 million revamp of the existing departures terminal.
In a statement, head of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Grant Smith said that Macquarie and Tasplan had worked closely with airport management to enhance the asset during their 12 years of ownership.
“The airport now contributes more than $150 million in added economic value to Tasmania each year and is a large employer in the region.”
Hobart Airport’s three-stage terminal expansion project is to double annual passenger numbers from the 2.6 million passengers that passed through the terminal in 2018—its largest year on record—to 4.2 million by 2030.
The airport’s market share of Australia’s domestic passengers movements currently sits at around 2 per cent.
The airport was privatised in 1998 with the grant of the lease to the Tasmanian government’s Ports Corporation. Tasplan and Macquarie’s global infrastructure fund acquired the asset in 2007.