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Québec company makes Aussie acquisition
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Exclusive: Founding principals set sail for long-standing Aus firm:

Québec company makes Aussie acquisition

Martin Irwin, Baker & McKenzie

A Canadian pension fund company has acquired 20 per cent of Plenary Group Holdings, which is headquartered in Australia, with advice from a global firm.

Firms: Baker & McKenzie (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec); MinterEllison (Plenary Group Holdings)

Deal: Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec acquired 20 per cent of Plenary Group Holdings.

Value: Confidential

Area: M&A

Key players: The Baker & McKenzie team was led by partner Martin Irwin (pictured), who was assisted by senior associate Chris Taylor.

Deal significance: Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) manages funds for public pension and insurance plans in the Canadian province of Québec, and had net assets of CA$248 billion at the end of 2015.

Plenary Group Holdings is an independent developer and manager of public infrastructure, headquartered in Australia.

Plenary Group Holdings has 13 projects in Australia that have a project capitalisation of more than AU$11 billion, as well as businesses in Canada and the US.

CDPQ has entered into an agreement to acquire a 20 per cent stake in Plenary Group Holdings.

As part of this transaction, Plenary Group Holdings will issue new shares giving Plenary Group Holdings additional capital to fund future projects.

“We were delighted to advise CDPQ on such a significant transaction. This is an acquisition of a portfolio of interests in Australian and international public/private partnerships on a scale not seen before in the Australian market,” said Martin Irwin, lead Baker & McKenzie partner.

“This again highlights the strong appetite of Canadian and other institutional offshore investors for Australian infrastructure assets.”

CDPQ is a long-term partner of Plenary Group Holdings, having invested more than AU$200 million in seven Plenary Group Holdings-originated Australian projects since 2012, including the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the AU$1 billion centre for excellence for cancer research and treatment, opened in June this year.

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