British investor strikes deal for €1bn in Irish infrastructure assets

British investor John Laing Group has announced a deal to buy a bundle of Irish assets, including rights to operate the Convention Center Dublin (CCD) from the Irish Infrastructure Fund (IIF), which put together the portfolio after its inception in 2011.

The price has not been disclosed, but the deal is said to value the assets to be sold at around €1 billion and is expected to close sometime in 2023.

IIF was founded by Irish Life Investment Managers and managed by Australia’s AMP Capital.

Supporters include the Irish state, although the former National Pension Reserve Fund, which was a “cornerstone” minority investor and pledged €250m at the time – meaning it is poised for a significant chunk of the return released from the sale.

The assets of the sale include the Convention Center Dublin (CCD), operated under a 25-year public-private partnership with the Office of Public Works (OPW).

It also includes Towercom, Ireland’s largest independent telecoms tower company, with a nationwide portfolio of 409 towers used by mobile network operators on long-term inflation-linked contracts.

The deal also includes Valley Healthcare, Ireland’s largest primary care center operator and developer, with 20 centers operating across Ireland and a pipeline of new centers under development. The primary care centers are operated under leases to the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Other IIF assets, including broadband business ENET, are not included in the John Laing deal.

John Laing himself was bought by US private equity giant KKR last year. Acting CEO of John Laing, Jamie Christmas, said the acquisition in Ireland was the biggest single in John Laing history to date.

“(It) allows us to scale and diversify our portfolio with three assets that enjoy strong market positions and limited correlation to economic cycles, all of which are underpinned by long-term contracts.”

John Laing was advised on the transaction by Evercore, Rothschild, Arthur Cox and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

AMP Capital and the Irish Infrastructure Fund were funded by Dentons, IBI Corporate Finance, Jefferies International Limited, Matheson and McCann Fitzgerald. British investor strikes deal for €1bn in Irish infrastructure assets

Fry Electronics Team

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