Canadian pension plans' love affair with Australian assets is reaching new heights after four different funds bid to lease two of the country's biggest ports.
The four funds, split into two different bidding groups, are looking to lease Port Botany and Port Kembla in New South Wales state, according to the Wall Street Journal, and the total offer price could reach $3-billion (Australian).
The new bids come on the heels of some hefty investments in Australia by Canadian pension funds earlier this year. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board sunk $1.04-billion (Canadian) into two office towers in Australia, the most its ever invested in a single real estate project, and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec teamed up with others to buy an Australian gas pipeline owner for $2.05-billion (Australian) this summer.
Like Canada, Australia's economy is strong relative to the U.S. and the euro zone, in large part because the country is resource rich.
For the port lease sale, Alberta Investment Management Corp., Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Australia's QIC teamed up to bid together, according to the WSJ, while Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Borealis Infrastructure and Australia's Hastings Funds Management formed a different consortium.
By selling the port leases, Australia hopes to raise money to help fund the expansion of highways and rail lines.