Morgan Stanley to Sell Montreal Terminals to Canadian Group

Morgan Stanley’s infrastructure-investing business agreed to sell Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership to a group of buyers led by Fiera Axium Infrastructure Inc.

Montreal Gateway Terminals is the largest operator at the Port of Montreal and the second-largest container facility in Canada, according to a statement Friday from Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners.

The fund didn’t disclose the value of the sale, but people with knowledge of the matter said last month that it was about C$650 million ($516 million). The buyers’ group includes units of Desjardins Group, Manulife Financial Corp., Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc., according to a separate statement.

Talks between the parties had been ongoing for months and broke off briefly late last year over the price Fiera Axium was willing to pay the for facility, one of the people said last month. The negotiations resumed after a decade-long extension was granted on the 25-year contract Montreal Gateway Terminals has at the port, this person said.

Fiera Axium is a portfolio management firm partly owned by Montreal-based Fiera Capital Corp. and Axium Infrastructure Management focused on investing in energy, transportation and other assets in Canada and the U.S. The company is among a group of smaller infrastructure funds emerging in Canada that are focused on assets typically too small for the country’s larger pension funds.

Last month, a group led by another new Canadian infrastructure fund, InstarAGF Asset Management Inc., agreed to purchase the terminal at Toronto’s Billy Bishop airport from Porter Aviation Holdings Inc.

BMO Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial adviser to Fiera Axium Infrastructure Inc. and the group on the transaction, according to Friday’s statement. Norton Rose Fulbright acted as legal adviser.

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