HICL Infrastructure to make first acquisition in Australia

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HICL Infrastructure to make first acquisition in Australia

HICL Infrastructure Company Limited, the UK-based listed infrastructure investment company, yesterday sent a circular and notice of extraordinary general meeting to shareholders to approve the acquisition of a new investment from a fund also managed by the company's investment adviser, InfraRed Capital Partners.

The company is seeking the approval of shareholders on 15 April 2014 for the acquisition of a 5.85% equity interest in the AquaSure Victorian Desalination PPP Project near Melbourne in the State of Victoria, Australia from the InfraRed Environmental Infrastructure Fund, a fund managed by the investment adviser.

The AquaSure Project was procured under the State of Victoria's Partnerships Victoria Policy and is the largest desalination plant in the southern hemisphere capable of producing 444ML of drinking water per day (150GL/year). The AquaSure Project reached financial close in September 2009 and became fully operational in December 2012. The term of the AquaSure Project ends on 30 September 2039.

Construction of the AquaSure Project was undertaken by a construction joint venture of Theiss Pty Ltd and Degrémont Pty Ltd. It is now being operated and maintained by an operations joint venture of Degrémont Pty Ltd and Theiss Services Pty Ltd. The total construction cost was approximately AUD$3.5 billion. The AquaSure Project is being managed by a directly employed management team of ten.

The acquisition, which would be the company's first investment in Australia, falls within the company's investment policy and stated acquisition strategy and complements the other PFI/PPP assets in the portfolio. It also provides further diversification to the portfolio by type of project and geography.

Graham Picken, Chairman, HICL said:

"This Acquisition fits within the company's investment strategy and helps diversify the current portfolio further by geography and project type.  The board unanimously recommends that shareholders vote in favour, as all of the directors intend to do in respect of their own beneficial holdings of ordinary shares."

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