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QSuper consortium lands Sydney Airport after long pursuit

Business

Australia’s biggest and busiest airport has accepted a $23.6 billion takeover bid from a consortium of infrastructure investors, including recently-merged QSuper.

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Sydney Airport’s decision brings to an end a four-month tussle over price between the operator and Sydney Aviation Alliance – which includes local superannuation funds QSuper and Australian Super.

The final offer values the airport’s stapled securities at $8.75 each, up from Friday’s closing price of $8.23, and represents a $7.9 billion uplift from SAA’s initial offer of $8.25 per security in July.

Sydney Airport’s boards have unanimously recommended security holders accept the deal – assuming no superior bid emerges from another party – when they meet to vote on the sale in the first quarter of 2022.

“The Sydney Airport boards believe the outcome reflects appropriate long term value for the airport,” chairman David Gonski said on Monday.

Sydney Airport is the nation’s major gateway to international travel and the country’s busiest domestic hub.

It also owns on-ground retail assets and earns money from car parking and ground transport and other property.

In August, Sydney Airport posted a first-half net loss of $97.4 million, as coronavirus concerns and state and territory border closures prevented people from flying.

But its future looks brighter after Australia this month lowered its borders to allow international air travellers into NSW and Victoria.

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