MIIF sells Arqiva stake

SHARES of Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund (MIIF) rose 3.7 per cent yesterday after it announced that it has agreed to sell its 8.7 per cent interest in Arqiva in the UK for a total cash consideration of £116.5 million (S$244.9 million).

The net proceeds are expected to total $240.1 million, said MIIF, which is now targeting acquisitions in Asia.

The announcement, made before the start of trading, led the stock to close up two cents at 56 cents, after touching an intraday high of 58 cents.

The divestment will be made to three infrastructure investors, all of which are existing shareholders of Arqiva.

‘Following the sale of MIIF’s interest in Arqiva, its portfolio will comprise entirely of direct investments in Asia. This will be a significant milestone for MIIF,’ said John Stuart, CEO of MIMAL, MIIF’s manager. ‘Importantly, the proposed sale is at a significant premium to the value implied by MIIF’s prevailing share price.’

Assuming the sale of MIIF’s interests in Arqiva as well as Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund and Canadian Aged Care, MIIF is expected to have a cumulative cash balance at the end of May this year of approximately $474.0 million which equates to 35 cents per share. The value of MIIF’s remaining investments is $523 million, or 39 cents per share, according to the fund.

‘MIIF’s management is now focused on identifying attractive acquisition investments in Asia. With this significant cash balance, MIIF is well positioned to capitalise on these opportunities should they arise in the course of the year,’ said Mr Stuart.

Other options include a share buy-back or payment of a special dividend, he added.

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