Geelong Port, one of Australia’s largest maritime facilities, has been bought by Stonepeak and Spirit Super as the companies complete their acquisition of the “diversified landlord port”.
Alternative investment company Stonepeak will hold a majority 70% interest in the acquired GeelongPort Pty Limited whilst Spirit Super, an Australian industry super fund, will hold the remaining 30% in a deal worth a suspected A$1.1bn ($733.87m).
Darren Keogh, Stonepeak’s senior managing director, said: “We believe GeelongPort has access to a meaningful set of opportunities for long-term growth and we look forward to working with the GeelongPort team as we help them realise those opportunities while continuing to invest in existing objectives and supporting continued growth in the region.”
GeelongPort is the second largest port in the state of Victoria and is found approximately 75km from Melbourne and the Port of Melbourne – Australia’s largest port, making it a strategically placed asset that currently supports around 1,800 jobs in the state.
Handling almost 12 million tonnes of cargo and 600 vessels a year responsible for roughly A$7bn ($4.6bn) worth of trade, the port was first labelled for acquisition by the two businesses in November 2022.
The city of Geelong has seen other major investments recently as the port looks to utilise its position providing easy access to other logistics routes in road, rail and air, with the Spirit of Tasmania ferry company recently choosing the city as its new home.
The port itself consists of 15 berths across two primary areas in Corio Quay and Lascelles Wharf, which provide land, infrastructure and services to facilitate trade.
Spirit Super had previously sought to acquire the port in early 2022 in a joint bid with Palisade Investment Partners Consortium worth A$1.2bn before pulling its request for merger clearance with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission the following August.
On the successful acquisition with Stonepeak, Spirit Super chief investment officer Dr Ross Barry said: “We’re delighted to complete the acquisition of GeelongPort and to be partnering with Stonepeak going forward.
“Our investment in the port reflects Spirit Super’s strong commitment to investing in compelling opportunities across regional Australia.”
Australia’s port facilities saw significant investment in 2022 with the Mardie Salt and Potash Plant project and the inner harbour debottlenecking of Port Hedland, constituting two of the biggest port construction projects in the world for last year.