Palisade finalises Sunshine Coast Airport runway payment

Sunshine Coast Council

Palisade Investment Partners and Sunshine Coast Council Joint Media Release

Palisade Investment Partners (Palisade) has finalised the $314.4* million payment to Sunshine Coast Council.

The payment forms part of the transaction announced in 2017 for a 99-year lease of the airport.

Palisade entered into the transaction on behalf of its managed investors, including its flagship Palisade’s Diversified Infrastructure Fund and Brighter Super Group (formerly LGIAsuper), a 100 per cent member-owned fund which manages $31 billion for its 260,000 Australian members.

This amount is made up of a fixed payment for the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project which included construction of the new runway, apron expansion and related infrastructure ($290m) and various airport-initiated upgrades to the runway ($7m), along with the second instalment of the long-term lease premium ($17m).

The new Sunshine Coast Airport 13/31 runway was delivered by Sunshine Coast Council in June 2020.

The airport is located approximately 10km from Maroochydore, Queensland.

Palisade CEO Roger Lloyd said the organisation was pleased to be investing in a critical piece of infrastructure for the airport and the wider region.

“The runway expansion project enables the airport to service larger aircraft and longer-range flights, allowing direct flights to more Australian and international destinations,” Mr Lloyd said.

“This improved connectivity will boost tourism and generate jobs and economic growth for the region.

“Palisade, on behalf of its managed investors, plans to continue investing in Sunshine Coast Airport and we are proud to be part of a growing destination through our long-term lease.”

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the payment made by Palisade for the airport expansion project would extinguish all debt council had incurred for that project.

“Importantly, the retirement of the debt associated with the Airport expansion project will realise council’s original objective, which has always been to deliver this project – and the national and international connectivity it will enable – at no enduring cost to our ratepayers,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The value for ratepayers is being maximised by having Palisade as council’s commercial partner in the airport’s operation, as it drives further increases in the airport’s value to the region.

“The distinct advantage from the commercial arrangement with Palisade is that the ratepayer has retained a long-term interest in the airport, which is a considerably more valuable asset to the region, and will deliver an annual lease payment back to Council based on 5% of gross revenue from Airport operations.

“The partnership with Palisade is a long-term commitment which will strengthen and grow the airport’s services and capabilities and contribute significantly to the economic growth of our region– thus ensuring ratepayers share in the airport’s performance into the future.”

About Palisade Investment Partners

Palisade is a specialist, independent infrastructure manager that provides institutional and wholesale investors with access to Australian infrastructure projects through tailored portfolios and co-mingled funds.

Palisade’s multi-disciplinary and experienced team focuses on attractive mid-market assets that are essential to the efficient functioning of the communities and economies they serve.

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