New ANZ Infrastructure owners to staff up

 

Michael Bailey, Investment & Technology News, 1 September 2009

 

The sale of the ANZ Infrastructure Services (ANZ IS) business has been completed, and the new owners, which include asset class pioneers Mike Fitzpatrick and John Clarke, are looking for two additions to the investment team.

 

Clarke has parlayed his 20 per cent interest in ANZ IS to a 45 per cent stake in Infrastructure Capital Group, which now manages the combined $1 billion of the Energy Infrastructure Trust and the Diversified Infrastructure Trust.  ICG is co-owned by an erstwhile competitor of Clarke, in the form of Hastings Funds Management founder Mike Fitzpatrick (45 per cent), and ANZ IS' long-time placement agent, Les Fallick's Principle Advisory Services (10 per cent).

 

Clarke said all underlying investors had been pleased to move away from ANZ ownership, and he had undertaken to address investor requests in relation to issues like alignment of interests and liquidity.

 

He said only one, relatively junior member of his ANZ IS team had not come with him to ICG, adding that he was currently looking for two new senior investment staff, one to assist with deal origination and the other with ongoing investment management.

 

Clarke said he retained an "excellent relationship" with ANZ, and indeed his 11-strong team will remain in ANZ's Sydney premises for another nine weeks, before moving to 14 Martin Place. (There will also be a Collins Street, Melbourne office.) Clarke looked forward to continuing deal flow from ANZ's investment banking team, and ANZ will be banker for ICG, although the bank's interest in the Diversified Infrastructure Trust (owner of Sydney's ANZ Stadium) will gradually be sold down.

 

Gas projects continue to be a major focus for the Energy Infrastructure Trust, Clarke said.

 

He batted away speculation that ICG may eventually look at the management rights to the Hastings infrastructure trusts, which are also residing under big bank ownership following Fitzpatrick's sale of the business to Westpac earlier this decade.

 

"We will stick to our knitting," Clarke said.

 

Major external investors with the two Infrastructure Capital Group trusts include Military Super & Benefits Scheme ($112 million equity according to its 2007/08 annual report), Catholic Super ($95 million), AGEST ($34 million), BUSS Q and TWU Super (roughly $25 million each).