1 Apr 2019

Infratil cutting losses after Australian venture fails to deliver

12:16 pm on 1 April 2019

Utilities investor Infratil is selling its half stake in an Australian student accommodation venture, which has failed to deliver hoped-for growth prospects.

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Utilities investor Infratil is selling up after a venture in Australia failed to deliver hoped-for growth prospects. Photo: 123RF

The company is selling its 50-percent share in the Australian National University's student accommodation concession to AMP controlled investment funds for about A$162 million ($170m).

Infratil bought into the venture in 2016 intending to use it as a springboard to expand in the sector, but said that had not eventuated.

"The broader platform that Infratil intended to develop using the ANU portfolio as a cornerstone has not eventuated," spokesman Mark Mudie said.

"This conditional sale agreement enables ANU to continue to grow its student accommodation offering under new ownership and allows Infratil to focus its investments on its established platforms targeting renewable energy, retirement services, and growth in data and connectivity."

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

The company has been reviewing its investments with a view to simplifying its portfolio and move capital into better performing ventures.

Late last year, Infratil reached a deal to sell the country's biggest bus company, NZ Bus, for up to $240m to investment funds, and it's looking at selling its controlling stake in the under-performing Perth Energy.

It has major stakes in Trustpower, Wellington International Airport, and power company Tilt Renewables, as well as interests in retirement villages and data centres in Australia.