Macquarie sells its 36% interest in Brussels Airport to three new shareholders

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Press agency Reuters and Belgian financial newspaper De Tijd report that Dutch pension fund APG Asset Management, Australian investor QIC (Queensland Investment Corporation) and insurer Swiss Life buy the 36% interest in the capital of Brussels Airport owned by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. The consortium won the bidding war over two other candidates, including one that comprised Belgian insurer AG. APG and QIC each receive 16.8 percent of the capital of the Brussels airport operator, and the remaining 2.4 percent goes to Swiss Life.

The other two shareholders of the airport – the pension fund of the teachers of the Canadian province of Ontario (OTPP, 39%) and the Belgian Federal Government (25% + 1 share) did not sell their shares.

Brussels Airport has been a particularly profitable investment for Macquarie. When the group bought 70 percent of the airport when it was privatised in 2004, it paid 735 million euros. A few weeks later, the Australians increased that to 75 percent, which they already more than earned back through the flow of dividends from Brussels Airport and the sale of a 39 percent interest to OTPP in 2011.

The sales price is unknown, but thought to value Brussels Airport at 7 billion euros.

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