Stroock Represents a JPMorgan Infrastructure Fund in Australian Airports Acquisition
Law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP represented a JPMorgan infrastructure fund in the acquisition of two airports in Queensland, Australia – Cairns Airport and Mackay Airport. The aggregate purchase price for the airports was $788.8 million (US$490.5 million).
Cairns is Australia’s 7th largest airport, providing air service to a range of domestic and international locations, and is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The transaction was structured as a 99-year long-term lease of the airports from the government and the acquisition of the related airport operations companies.
North Queensland Airports, a consortium between JPM IIF and its partners, Australian-based infrastructure investors Hastings Fund Management, Westpac Bank, and Perron Investments, acquired the airports. Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) has been appointed to provide specialist airport services under the supervision of the Consortium. The transaction was subject to and received FIRB approval.
Richard Madris, corporate partner and Head of Stroock’s Infrastructure practice, said, “We are delighted to have represented JPM IIF on this exciting transaction. The Consortium was able to sign and close a complicated cross-border M&A transaction in a matter of weeks. The Consortium members were focused and worked well together. This transaction demonstrates the strength of Stroock in the area of representing infrastructure funds and private equity funds in their transactions.”
Corporate partners Richard Madris and Marty Neidell, Finance partner Karl Wiemer, Tax partner Jeffrey Uffner, ERISA partner Mark Wintner, and associates Chauncey Pilgrim and Brian Greene worked on the transaction and its structuring.
A consortium of banks led by Westpac Banking Corporation provided financing to the Consortium for the transaction. Westpac and Merrill Lynch served as joint financial advisors to the Consortium. In addition, Australian firms Freehills and Clayton Utz represented members of the Consortium, and the banks were represented by Gilbert + Tobin; Minter Ellison represented the Queensland Government. Lazard Carnegie Wylie served as financial adviser to the Queensland Government.