Sydney Airport’s shareholders have accepted a A$23.6 billion ($16.8 billion) takeover bid, paving the way for one of the country’s largest infrastructure acquisition deals.
The move also paves the way for the delisting of Australia’s only listed airport operator, which is set to take place once the court approves the takeover bid.
At a shareholders’ meeting on 3 February, around 80% of investors voted in support of the takeover, which is mounted by a consortium of infrastructure investors.
Those who objected against the sale were mainly retail investors, according to media reports following the meeting, who listed concerns including having to pay steep taxes when accepting cash from the deal.
The scheme of arrangement will be submitted to the High Court of New South Wales for approval on 9 February. If the court gives the green light, Sydney Airport will cease trading on the Australian Securities Exchange the same day, and the scheme of arrangement will be legally effective.
Sydney Airport on 8 November agreed to the takeover offer from the Sydney Airport Alliance, which comprises fund managers IFM Investors and Global Infrastructure Partners, as well as Australian superannuation funds QSuper and AustralianSuper.
A month later, Australia’s competition watchdog cleared the acquisition bid, stating that the takeover was “unlikely” to reduce competition “in a market that already has such little competition”.
The acquisition comes as Australia recovers from the impact of the coronavirus, with international border restrictions gradually easing and travel slowly restarting.