16-Feb-2021: Infratil 2021 Investor Day Presentation
Links to all of the various presentations (Sector Overviews, Portfolio Update and Outlook, Longroad Energy, Galileo Green Energy, Qscan Group, CDC Data Centres, Vodafone New Zealand, and Supplementary Information) can all be found here: https://infratil.com/for-investors/announcements/2021/infratil-2021-investor-day/
All other ASX Announcements by Infratil can be accessed from here: https://infratil.com/for-investors/announcements/
[I hold IFT shares.]
Infratil announces Jason Boyes as its new Chief Executive Officer
The Infratil Board today announced that Jason Boyes will succeed Marko Bogoievski as Infratil Chief Executive Officer (‘CEO’) and a Director effective from 1 April 2021 with Mr Bogoievski stepping down after 12 successful years as Infratil’s CEO and a Director.
Mark Tume, Infratil’s Chair, said that with the strong portfolio positions and a positive investment outlook, the Board view this as a good opportunity to implement the succession plan.
“Marko signaled to the board his interest in this transition some months ago, after 12 years in the role as CEO. The board believes this is the right time for a well-managed transition from one high performing leader to another with the company in healthy shape and with a clear future growth plan.
“Marko has been an outstanding CEO since taking over the reins in 2009, leading Infratil’s investment and portfolio strategy which has delivered a remarkable 18% p.a. over that period. I would like to thank Marko for his leadership and vision in delivering impressive shareholder returns through innovation and foresight.
DISC: I hold (thanks again Bear77)
Here's hoping the good work continues
Update on strategic review of shareholding in Tilt Renewables
On 7 December 2020, Infratil advised that it had initiated a strategic review of its shareholding in Tilt Renewables Limited (Tilt).
Infratil welcomes Tilt’s announcement that it has received a number of non-binding indicative proposals to acquire the company, and that it will provide due diligence access to a number of parties, to enable them to prepare binding proposals.
Marko Bogoievski, Infratil CEO, said “We have received strong interest in Tilt in response to our strategic review announcement in December. This is the logical next step in what is a competitive process, reflecting the strong demand globally for high quality renewable platforms like Tilt.”
No decision has been made in relation to Infratil’s shareholding in Tilt and we will continue to update the market of any material developments. A copy of the Tilt release is attached.
Disc: I have a small holding
Heads up to Bear77! I bought 500 shares (after you put me onto them) I was intending to buy more ,after doing further research, but just after I bought them they went up to more than I was happy to pay for them...so thanks for what I have
04-Jan-2021: CDC Data Centres 31 December 2020 Valuation
CDC Data Centres 31 December 2020 Valuation - Increased Demand Driving Increase in Value
Infratil advises that an independent valuation of CDC Data Centres (‘CDC’) as at 31 December 2020 indicates a significant increase in the value of Infratil’s investment in CDC since 30 September 2020. Infratil’s 48.1% investment in CDC is now valued at between A$2,039 million to A$2,334 million, up from A$1,597 million to A$1,807 million at 30 September 2020. Based on the NZD/AUD exchange rate on 31 December 2020, the NZD valuation of Infratil’s investment in CDC was $2,164.3 million to $2,478.7 million (with a midpoint of $2,313.5 million).
This valuation increase reflects the acceleration in demand that CDC is experiencing from new and existing customers across its portfolio, which is expected to result in its existing data centres reaching capacity earlier than expected, with a consequential effect on forecast growth. Infratil will provide a further update from CDC, including its growth plans, at Infratil’s Investor Day on 16 February 2021.
Impact on Estimated FY2021 International Portfolio Annual Incentive Fee
On 12 November 2020, as part of its interim results for the six months to 30 September 2020, Infratil provided an estimate of its FY2021 International Portfolio Incentive Fee accrual. Based on the 31 December 2020 independent valuation of CDC, Infratil advises that the estimated International Portfolio Annual Incentive Fee is now $147.6 million, an increase of $89.9 million since the 30 September 2020 accrual.
The assessment of the International Portfolio Annual Incentive Fee in relation to Tilt Renewables, Longroad Energy, RetireAustralia and Australian Social Infrastructure Partners has not been updated since the 30 September 2020 estimate. As at 30 September 2020, the value of Infratil’s shareholding in Tilt Renewables was the equivalent of $3.70 per Tilt Renewables share. On 7 December 2020, Infratil announced that it is undertaking a strategic review of its investment in Tilt Renewables, which it expects to conclude within six months. As the strategic review process is ongoing an updated assessment of the value of Infratil’s shareholding was not undertaken, however we note that the price per Tilt Renewables share on the NZX as at 31 December 2020 was $6.37. Infratil will continue to update the market of any material developments in relation to the strategic review.
Infratil notes that the actual International Portfolio Annual Incentive Fee as at 31 March 2021 will be determined based on independent valuations of each of the relevant investments. If an International Portfolio Annual Incentive Fee is ultimately determined to be payable at 31 March 2021, the fee will be payable in three equal tranches over the period to 31 March 2023, with the payment of the latter two tranches only being payable if the total valuation of the relevant investments as at 31 March 2022 and 31 March 2023 respectively, is no less than the total valuations determined as at 31 March 2021.
Any enquiries should be directed to: Mark Flesher, Investor Relations, Infratil Limited: Mark.Flesher@hrlmorrison.com
[I hold IFT shares]
09-Dec-2020: Non-binding Indicative Approach for IFT Shares
As expected, the IFT Board have considered the AustralianSuper takeover proposal, and rejected it, as I hoped they would.
From today's announcement:
The Board engaged expert legal (MinterEllisonRuddWatts) and financial advisors (Goldman Sachs) and formed a Committee of Independent Directors in October to assist in its assessment of the proposals. The Board reviewed valuation and the proposed structure and unanimously rejected both proposals as materially undervaluing IFT’s high quality and unique portfolio of assets on a control basis.
The Board also notes material conditions related to Foreign Investment Review Board and Overseas Investment Office approvals in Australia and New Zealand and considers that there are other aspects of the proposal that are unattractive to IFT shareholders, including distributing Trustpower Limited shares without recognising a control premium and avoiding the need to make a takeover offer for that business.
The IFT Board will consider any proposal to maximise shareholder value, but given the significant deficiencies in the Proposal, no further engagement is planned at this time.
The Chairman of IFT, Mark Tume, said: “The Board regularly assesses portfolio construction and return expectations. We have had a long and successful track record as active managers of the Infratil platform, and recent examples include the ongoing success of CDC Data Centres, the proposed acquisition of Qscan and the strategic review of Tilt Renewables. As at 8 December 2020, Infratil had delivered total shareholder returns of 18% per annum since listing in 1994 and has a stated annual targeted return for our shareholders of 11%-15% over the long term”.
IFT Chief Executive, Marko Bogoievski, said: “Both proposals were unsolicited and materially undervalue our significant renewable energy and digital infrastructure platforms. We expect some of the additional value to be demonstrated in the near term with the recently announced strategic review of Tilt Renewables, which will continue, and ongoing appreciation of the value of CDC Data Centres”.
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So far today the IFT share price has not retraced or given up any of yesterday's +21% gain. In fact, it has so far risen another +1% (currently +7cps at $6.87). That's positive. I think this proposal, although rejected by the IFT board, has served to shine a spotlight on IFT, and, let's face it, it probably needed that at some point, as most punters were unaware of the company, or what they do. I'm a happy IFT shareholder.
08-Dec-2020: We'll know more in the morning, however the A$ value of this offer (of NZ$7.43/share) is around A$7.07, and while that's a nice +25.8% premium to the $5.62 level they closed at yesterday, and an even larger premium to their 30-day VWAP up until yesterday, I still consider it to be undervaluing the company. I hope the IFT board also see it that way and reject this offer.
Closer to $8 they might be more interested, but considering the track record of Infratil and H.R.L. Morrison & Co. (which is outstanding) of making LOTS of money out of underappreciated assets in a VERY similar way to what Private Equity groups do (but within a listed company structure) - I would be happier to just see this play out over the next 10 years - as an IFT shareholder - rather than see them get taken out when they're just getting some attention over here on this side of the ditch.
They have such good assets and so much potential. I have posted straws on them here already describing what they own and what they do.
Like Chagsy, this is also one of my favourite companies at the minute and I did view them as a great market opportunity that was only really available to small players like ordinary retail investors or very small funds, because IFT is so illiquid (hardly any sellers on any given day, and often not too many buyers prior to today either).
The exception to that rule of course, is that funds and insto's can get involved - IF they do so via a full takeover offer, as AustralianSuper has done, or if they are very, very patient, and accumulate their position very, very slowly (most of them would not bother). I got set a few weeks ago, as I mentioned in a straw, and I was planning to top up that position, but perhaps not after today's +21% share price jump.
IFT's closing share price today (since the 3:38pm trading pause which was followed by the trading halt after the market has already closed) was A$6.80, which is still below the A$7.07 (NZ$7.43) price that AustralianSuper want to takeover IFT for, but not much below it in percentage terms, and if the IFT board reject the offer, the SP could easily fall back by just as much as they rose today.
Interestingly over on the NZX, Infratil (NZX: IFT) closed just +2.36% up at NZ$6.08, and there was no trading pause or trading halt called for.
I expect the ASX will issue them with a speeding ticket shortly as well, because they were clearly a little late calling for the trading halt today on the ASX, when the share price had already spiked up +21%. They admitted in their request to the ASX for the trading halt that they had, "become aware that the proposal by AustralianSuper Pty Ltd, as trustee of AustralianSuper, to acquire all shares in Infratil for a total implied consideration of NZ$7.43 per share has become publicly known."
No sh!t Sherlock! As IFT were clearly in possession of the offer, perhaps an earlier trading halt request would have been appropriate in the circumstances. That's what I imagine the ASX would be thinking anyway.
It is a little strange that their SP on their home exchange in New Zealand hardly moved today, compared to their +21% SP rise over here.
Mind you, the liquidity of IFT shares on the ASX is so low that it usually wouldn't take many trades to cause a big SP move. That said, the volume was higher than usual today, with 182 trades worth almost $1.5m - being more than double the previous day's trading volume.
The AFR did have a story about this, but it didn't come out until after the market had already closed:
The final few paragraphs are interesting:
AustralianSuper's head of infrastructure Nik Kemp said: "AustralianSuper currently has $NZ1.3 billion invested in New Zealand, reflecting our long-term confidence in this market.
"As a well capitalised and long-term investor, we see significant potential to invest in the growth of Infratil’s assets over the long term on behalf of AustralianSuper’s members, which allows us to provide significant value to Infratil shareholders today.
"We believe our proposal, if implemented, would deliver an attractive premium for Infratil shareholders. AustralianSuper will continue to seek engagement with the board of Infratil to afford Infratil shareholders the opportunity to assess our proposal in full."
AustralianSuper gave no timeframe on when it expected a response from Infratil, and Infratil did not respond to a request for comment.
The offer comes two months after AustralianSuper's closest competitor in funds under management, Aware Super (formerly First State Super), bid to acquire listed telecoms infrastructure company OptiComm for around $675 million.
In the end Aware Super was beaten by telco Uniti [UWL], but the bold bidding war demonstrated the long-standing value mega-funds have placed on infrastructure assets, and the growing appetite to buy listed companies and take them private as non-listed infrastructure asset acquisition opportunities become more and more scarce.
AustralianSuper has around $20 billion invested in infrastructure assets, more than 10 per cent of its total assets under management. They include Ausgrid, WestConnex, Transurban Queensland, NSW Ports and Perth Airport.
Last month the super giant announced it would go net zero by 2050, meaning low-carbon assets such as renewable energy infrastructure will become an increasingly important part of its portfolio.
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I hold IFT shares. I also hold UWL shares - which was mentioned above in the third to last paragraph. I also used to operate my SMSF through AustralianSuper, but I swapped back to CBUS (another industry super fund that is not as big as AustralianSuper, but is big enough and has performed better for longer) a few years ago. Within CBUS, around 90% of my investable funds are in the "CBUS Self-Managed" section, where I nominate exactly which companies, ETFs or managed funds I want each dollar invested in. The other odd 10% is invested 50/50 in their CBUS High Growth and CBUS Growth (CBUS MySuper) strategies. It's a cheaper and easier alternative to setting up your own SMSF by yourself, because CBUS cover all the compliance side of things and the fees are a lot less. The downside is that your options (of what you can invest in) are limited to ASX300 companies only, no LICs, only a small number of ETFs, and only two managed funds, being CBUS Infrastructure and CBUS Property. You can also use their standard investment strategies for a portion of your capital as well, as I have with around 10% of mine, but with those you are outsourcing the funds management to them. They also have rules such as no more than 20% in any single company (higher weightings are allowed for some ETFs or for their own investment strategies) and no more than 80% in direct company shares. I have a large exposure to gold producing companies within my CBUS self-managed fund, however I do also hold gold companies in other portfolios as well. I trade less often in my CBUS super account; it can often go months without me looking at it, whereas I usually monitor two of my other portfolios daily.
Because I previously had a similar arrangement through AustralianSuper, Australia's largest industry super fund, as I currently do with CBUS, I do understand what AustralianSuper are trying to do here. However, as an IFT shareholder, I think the offer is too low, and I wish they'd buzz off and find another company to takeover. I was looking forward to following IFT and increasing my exposure to IFT as my investment thesis for them played out over the coming years. I hope to still get that opportunity.
Australian super lobs 5.1 bn takeover offer.
see ann yesterday re possible TLT sale (a major holding of IFT).
it's likely Australian super are primarily interested in this holding
CDC part of the company will likely be extremely attractive and will hopefully pull in other bidders.
this was one of my favourite stocks and it will be hard to replace.
Notable achievements during the period:
Over the decade to 30 September 2020 Infratil has:
--- click on the link at the top for the full report ---
[I hold IFT shares.]
27-Oct-2020 - I just watched yesterday's (Monday's) "The Call" and IFT was the "Stock of the day" - the one they talk about before they get stuck into the 10 suggestions from viewers, and it was Stock of the day because of the announcement of the deal to buy 60% of QScan off Quadrant (PE) for $330m, that was foreshadowed by the AFR's "Street Talk" section on Sunday. Gaurav had more to say, and it's all worth listening too. Very glad I bought shares yesterday. While they closed back down at around my buy price (on Monday) and fell 15 cents (or -2.78%) to $5.25 today (i.e. below my buy price), that doesn't phase me at all, particularly considering the lack of liquidity, particularly on the sell side, and the low volumes for sale. I'm now set with my initial position, and planning to top up on further weakness. Many of the reasons that I'm excited by this company were summed up very well by Gaurav Sodhi from Intelligent Investor on "The Call" on Monday - see here: https://www.ausbiz.com.au/media/the-call-monday-26-october-?videoId=5093
26-Oct-2020: I'll start by disclosing that I bought a position in IFT (Infratil Ltd) this morning after doing some research on the company over the weekend and reading in the AFR "Street Talk" section yesterday that they would this morning announce that they had inked a deal to buy a majority stake in QScan from Quadrant Private Equity Group. They did just that.
They announced this morning that they have signed a conditional offer to acquire up to 60% of Qscan Group Holdings (‘Qscan’), a comprehensive diagnostic imaging practice throughout Australia, from Quadrant Private Equity ('QPE’) and existing doctor and management shareholders, for total cash equity consideration of up to A$330 million:
You can read the full announcement and presentation here.
Warning: This is a very illiquid stock, so buying $20K to $30K worth of IFT shares WILL move the share price, as my buy did this morning. You could accumulate over time, but my concern is that there are very few sellers, and my thoughts were that some might not regard today's announcement as positive and I wanted to take advantage of that uncertainty, and so I did. The price quickly rose above my (sub-$5.40 to $5.40) buy price.
So - who are Infratil? They are NZ based, and are managed by Morrison & Co, who also manage some other unlisted funds, such as MGIF (see above). Infratil (ASX: EFT) are dual listed - on the ASX and NZX - and operate much like a Private Equity group, but under a listed company structure, will all the regulatory oversight and reporting requirements that go along with that. They currently own around half or a majority stake in the following businesses:
Galileo Green Energy (wind, solar, energy storage, Europe), 40%
66% interest in Wellington Airport, NZ. Wellington City Council owns the other 34%.
48% of CDC - Canberra Data Centres, with 6 operating data centres in Canberra and Sydney - Fyshwick 1, 2 and Hume 1,2,3 and Eastern Creek 1. Each is custom designed to CDC’s demanding structural, environmental, ascetic and operational requirements to meet the highest standards for data centres. They are also constructing DC's in NZ.
Infratil and Brookfield Asset Management each own 49.9% of Vodafone NZ.
ASIP: They also develop, own and manage property, as well as social infrastructure (Hospitals and Schools): The Australian Social Infrastructure Partners (ASIP) platform consists of two enitites managed by H.R.L. Morrison & Co. (the managers of Infratil); Leighton Contractors Infrastructure Partners and Public Infrastructure Partners Australia, established in 2012. Infratil owns 55% of the units in each vehicle. ASIP has currently invested in 9.95% and 49.0% respectively of the equity in the A$1.85billion New Royal Adelaide Hospital PPP and the A$232million South East Queensland Schools PPP (Public-Private Partnership).
RetireAustralia: Retirement living in Australia - with over 3600 independent living units and apartments across 27 villages in NSW, SA and QLD.
They have been looking for a suitable quality healthcare industry asset to add to their portfolio, and they've found one in QScan. They raised $300m in June to fund future grouth, i.e. an aquisition such as this one (QScan), and that $300m was initially used to pay down drawn bank facilities, but can now be redrawn to pay for their stake in QScan. They do carry debt, but it is very manageable and par-for-the-course with infrastructure and utilities companies (SYD, TCL, APA, telcos, power companies, property developers, etc.). The quality assets they own deliver plenty of cashflow to more than cover the interest on their debt, and allow them to both pay down the debt and return cash to shareholders (dividends). Their current trailing yield (based on Friday's SP) was only 2.9% (unfranked), but that is partly because their share price has been rising at a good clip over the past 3 years, with a Covid-19-blip in March this year which they quickly recovered from.
As with Private Equity, Infratil are active managers, not passive ones, so they invest in growth assets and look to make profits as well as derive income from those assets. They therefore will ooccasionally sell assets a profit and rotate those funds into new assets.
Gaurav Sodhi from Intelligent Investor raved about IFT on Ausbiz's "The Call" on Thursday (22-Oct-2020) - see here: https://www.ausbiz.com.au/media/the-call-thursday-22-october-?videoId=5027 - starting at the 29 minute mark. That really got my attention, and then the more I looked into them, the more I liked them, so I bought some this morning.
Also, Peter Cooper, the founder and CIO (Chief Investment Officer) of Cooper Investors gave IFT as his stock pick at the last FG (Future Generation Funds) Investor Forum in November (2019) - see here: https://www.livewiremarkets.com/wires/a-lesson-in-failed-tech-ipos (it's near the end of that article)
...or play from the 59 minute mark of this video.
I've got to go to work now... more on IFT later... I think it's an exciting opportunity.