IFM buys into port at the heart of Poland’s anti-communist democracy movement

IFM Investors, along with the Polish Development Fund and PSA International, have bought 100 per cent of DCT Gdansk, the largest container terminal in Poland.

No detail on the purchase price was released.

Some of the sellers in the deal – Macquarie Infrastructure, Real Assets (MIRA) Global Infrastructure Fund II, MTAA Super, AustralianSuper and Statewide Super – are from the industry-super movement that IFM invests for.

Gdansk rose to prominence in the 1980s as the site of the Lenin Shipyards.

They spawned the Solidarity, free trade union movement, which led the push to end communist party rule in Poland. Its leader Lech Walesa served as Polish president from 1990 to 1995.

Gdansk shipyard leader Lech Walesa became Poland’s first post-communism president. Photo: Getty
DCT Gdansk is strategically located at the crossroads of the Baltic deep-sea trading routes and is a major gateway into Poland and central-eastern European markets.

It is the fastest-growing container port in Europe and is in the top 15 European ports in terms of volume.

DCT Gdansk was built from 2005 by the outgoing shareholders in the deal and its capacity doubled in 2016 with significant capital investment.

“We are delighted to further consolidate our existing partnership with global leader in port operations, PSA, and join leading Polish fund PFR, whose insight into the Polish market has been invaluable to the consortium,” IFM Investors global head of infrastructure Kyle Mangini said.

“The transaction also marks another investment for IFM in a core infrastructure asset in Poland, expanding upon our long-standing presence in the country.”

PSA is a leading global port group and a trusted partner to cargo stakeholders around the world. With flagship operations in Singapore and Antwerp, PSA’s portfolio comprises a network of more than 50 coastal, rail and inland terminals in 17 countries.

Gdansk port bought by IFM investors
IFM and two investment groups have bought the Polish port of Gdansk. Photo: Getty
The Polish Development Fund (PFR) is a financial group that offers instruments supporting the development of companies, local governments and individuals, and invests in sustainable social development and national economic growth.

IFM Investors is a global institutional funds manager with $US82 billion ($114 billion) under its management as of December 31, 2018.

Established more than 20 years ago and owned by 27 Australian pension funds, IFM Investors serves as an umbrella group for mainly not-for-profit investors across Australia, Europe, North America and Asia.

It manages investments in debt, infrastructure, listed equities and private equity.

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