OMERS part of consortium to acquire Australian port lease

A consortium that includes the private markets arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System has acquired a 50-year lease on the port of Melbourne for about $9.7 billion.

In addition to the pension fund, the Lonsdale consortium includes Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Future Fund, along with global investment firms QIC and Global Infrastructure Partners.

The port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest container, automotive and general cargo port that links the country with major trading partners, according to a news release from OMERS.

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“We are confident that our global expertise in managing similar assets will see the port of Melbourne continue to operate as Australia’s leading container and multi-cargo port and we look forward to working with port users and stakeholders to further improve the productivity of this important asset,” said Ralph Berg, executive vice-president and global head of infrastructure at OMERS’ private markets arm.

“As part of its successful bid, the Lonsdale consortium will invest substantial capital to expand the existing capacity of the port to service the freight needs of the state for 50 years,” Berg added. “The consortium is also committed to fostering close ties with industry and the local community.”

Members of the consortium have experience with other infrastructure investments, such as Melbourne airport in Australia, as well as other port assets, according to the news release.

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