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Infratil and Super Fund buy into AIA

Thursday 16th August 2007

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The New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Infratil have acquired a 6.20% shareholding in Auckland International Airport.

NZ Super Fund holds 2.87% of Auckland Airport under its infrastructure management mandate with Morrison & Co and Infratil holds 2.14%. Separately, NZ Super holds 1.19% of Auckland Airport under mandates with other fund managers.

Currently Dubai Aerospace is proposing an offer to take control of AIA.

"We have an open mind on the Dubai Aerospace proposal," Infratil chief executive, Lloyd Morrison, says. "We expect to be involved in considerably more discussion over what the optimal ownership, control, and capital structure of Auckland Airport should be and believe there is a strong business case for New Zealand investment."

He says Infratil and NZ Super Fund are long term investors in the infrastructure sector. Auckland Airport is one of New Zealand's leading infrastructure assets with great long term growth potential. Infratil and NZ Super Fund began purchasing shares in Auckland Airport in 2006.

Growing travel demand in Asia Pacific region, the continuing strong performance of Air New Zealand and Qantas, and the large aircraft orders for growing Asian and Middle East airlines make us confident about Auckland Airport's prospects, irrespective of the outcome of Dubai Aerospace's current proposal or any other offer that might be made.

Infratil has also been supporting calls to convert the former Whenuapai airbase into a civilian airport. Morrison says this focus is unchanged by the announcement relating to Auckland Airport.

"Infratil will continue to press for the commercial development of Whenuapai as a regional airport serving the fast growing northwest of the Auckland region with flights to New Zealand destinations, Australia and the Pacific Islands."
It is a wonderfully located piece of existing infrastructure with the potential to benefit the greater Auckland region in many ways. It is complementary to Auckland Airport and does not threaten its commercial value or viability."

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