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Infratil nabs Canberra student contract

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/08/2016 Tina Morrison

Infratil and Commonwealth Superannuation Corp have paid $A82.5 million ($NZ86.7m) for the 30-year contract to manage nine on-campus purpose-built student accommodation residences for Australian National University in the Australian capital Canberra.

The long-term concession, which covers about 3760 beds, includes responsibility for the provision of "hard" facilities management services such as building maintenance and lifecycle replacement, which the 50/50 joint venture investors have subcontracted to Spotless, Wellington-based Infratil said on Wednesday.

The university will continue to manage "soft" facilities maintenance services involving marketing, rental agreements, cleaning and pastoral care.

Infratil has been looking to deploy $1 billion of capital after selling its Z Energy, Lumo and iSite holdings in the 2016 financial year, and intends to focus on renewable energy, the retirement sector, social infrastructures such as housing, telecommunications infrastructure, and waste management.

The Kiwi investor has previous teamed up with the Australian pension fund provider to buy Canberra Data Centres, and the latest investment will be managed by Infratil's manager HRL Morrison & Co.

"The ANU portfolio is the standout portfolio in the on-campus PBSA sector in Australia in terms of both scale and quality," said Infratil chief executive Marko Bogoievski.

"PBSA (purpose-built student accommodation) is an emerging asset class supported by strong domestic and international demand growth for quality tertiary education."

The deal is expected to settle this month.

The shares last traded at $3.40 and have increased 3.8 per cent so far this year.

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