KKR-led consortium completes Spark Infrastructure acquisition for $3.75b

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A KKR-led consortium has completed a 100% acquisition of Australia’s Spark Infrastructure in an all-cash transaction for approximately A$5.2 billion ($3.75 billion).

Canadian pension funds Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’) and Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) joined in the consortium.

Earlier in July, Spark Infrastructure had rejected an A$4.91 billion offer by the consortium. By then, the A$2.8 per-share bid was its second attempt, topping up their initial one by 10 cents. A month later, Spark Infrastructure agreed to accept the KKR-led consortium’s offer of A$2.95 per share.

Spark Infrastructure invests in essential energy infrastructure businesses within Australia, which serve over 5 million homes and businesses.

The company “aligns perfectly with our strategy to invest in high-quality regulated infrastructure assets globally that will both benefit from and support the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Bruce Crane, managing director and head of Asia Pacific infrastructure and natural resources at Ontario Teachers’.

Ontario Teachers’ had earlier joined KKR’s Global Impact Fund as a significant shareholder in Australia-based profit-for-purpose organisation GreenCollar. The Canada’s biggest pension system also invested in Sydney Desalination Plant, as well as Healthscope’s pathology services business Asia Pacific Healthcare Group.

Last year, Ontario Teachers’ opened its Singapore office to accelerate investments in India, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. Crane, a former OMERS Infrastructure managing director, was appointed as its first Singapore-based employee in August last year.

Meanwhile, PSP Investments has also invested in Australia by acquiring the permanent water rights of Olam International in the country.

KKR said it made the investment in Spark Infrastructure through its core infrastructure strategy, which focuses on investing in high-quality regulated assets in developed OECD markets.

In Australia, the global PE firm teamed up with real estate technology and services firm Domain Holdings Australia Limited to make a A$3 billion bid to acquire electronic property settlement provider Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) in May this year.

It has recently taken a 55% stake in Colonial First State from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, as well as agreed to acquire Sofitel Sydney Wentworth from Singapore’s Frasers Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust for $236.9 million.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.