AIRPORT EXPANSION: The Sunshine Coast Council has revealed it's preferred investor for the airport expansion project.
AIRPORT EXPANSION: The Sunshine Coast Council has revealed it's preferred investor for the airport expansion project. Warren Lynam

REVEALED: Company backing airport expansion

BREAKING: The company expected to invest in the $347 million Sunshine Coast Airport expansion has been revealed.

Palisade Investment Partners, the Australian-based and Australian-owned superannuation investment firm, which has backed the second stage of the Gold Coast Light Rail, has been selected as the Sunshine Coast Council's preferred investment partner in its $347 million Sunshine Coast Airport expansion.

Negotiations will continue over the next two months before the partnership is finalised and a contract signed, but Palisade has beaten out the competition with 17 initial bids from Australia and overseas made to partner with the council in the project.

Palisade is also invested in the airport sector with the Airport Development Group which owns Darwin, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs airports.

Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets' managing director and head of infrastructure, Tim Foy, told media today the Sunshine Coast Airport was a "very valuable asset" and Palisade as a long-term investor would help build and grow that asset.

He said Palisade - which he described as a mid-market, Australian-based, Australian-owned, super fund manager -  had aligned with the council's goals for the region and economic growth on the Coast.

Mr Foy said the airport's current management team would remain with the airport, saying there was no need to change what was a well-operated airport.

RELATED: Airport's record tourist numbers

The Australian Financial Review in November named Palisade Investment Partners and Infrastructure Capital Group as the two firms left in the race to be the council's partner in the airport expansion project.

Final bids were reportedly lodged by December 5 for the chance to deliver the $347 million upgrade.

The council secure a $181 million concessional loan from the Federal Government in November to help with construction costs of the airport upgrade which will see the Coast opened up to Asian markets for tourism and trade, while further international flights could be possible with stopovers in Asia.


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