Hastings Wins $2.3 Billion Lease for Sydney Desalination Plant

Hastings Funds Management Pty and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan won the right to lease the Sydney Desalination Plant from Australia’s New South Wales state for A$2.3 billion ($2.3 billion).

The 50-year lease includes the plant, the pipeline, the site and a 50-year supply agreement with Sydney Water, the state government said today in a statement. The funds will be used to repay debt while A$300 million will be invested in the state’s infrastructure fund.

Australia’s most populous state said in November it would lease out the desalination plant as part of a plan to raise money for new infrastructure projects. The lease, and a similar arrangement for Port Botany, the nation’s second-biggest container port, may bring in about A$4 billion for the state’s Restart NSW infrastructure fund.

Hastings, based in Melbourne, specializes in infrastructure management and oversees about A$6.7 billion, the company’s website shows. The company’s funds include Utilities Trust of Australia and the Australian Infrastructure Fund, which manages a portfolio of airports, seaports and toll roads. Ontario, Canada’s third-biggest retirement-fund manager responsible for managing pensions for about 300,000 teachers, managed C$117.1 billion ($116.8 billion) in assets as of Dec. 31 including real estate and infrastructure.

The plant at Kurnell, on the edge of Botany Bay in south Sydney, was completed in 2010. It’s designed to produce 90 gigaliters of drinking water a year, or 15 percent of greater Sydney’s annual requirement, according to documents made available to bidders and the media last year.

The proceeds from the lease will be used for infrastructure projects including roads, schools and hospitals, state Treasurer Mike Baird said in the statement. The group beat bidders including Industry Funds Management Pty and Spark Infrastructure Group, according people with knowledge of the matter.

New South Wales was advised by Goldman Sachs Group Inc, King & Wood Mallesons and KPMG LLP while the winning bidders were counseled by Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets.

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