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BANKING

Macquarie: Getting out

Potholes not pitfalls on Macquarie’s road
How close did Macquarie get to the edge?

Macquarie’s departures from its listed funds are happening in a variety of ways. One key deal came when the bank sold its Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group – which contains the communications assets Broadcast Australia, Arqiva and Airwave – to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for A$3 a share shortly after the fund itself was trading at 83 cents. Moore sees this as vindication of his view that the underlying assets in the funds are far better than the listed markets think they are. Other trusts have been selling assets to raise cash or retire debt, notably the Macquarie Countrywide Reit and Macquarie Infrastructure Group (which sold a 25% stake in the Westlink M7 motorway in February), while Macquarie’s 26% stake in the Singapore-listed Macquarie Prime Reit was sold outright to YTL. A co-investment vehicle called Macquarie Capital Alliance Group was taken private in August 2008, and others may follow.

Increasingly, though, Macquarie is keeping its stakes in the funds but backing out of their management completely. This has been put to shareholders in two trusts: Macquarie Leisure, which owns theme parks; and Macquarie Airports (MAp), which with a A$4.1

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