IFM Investors has invested $50 million in Smart Urban Properties Australia (SUPA), Australia’s first unified services provider of converged utilities and communications infrastructure.
SUPA, which was formed in 2022, focuses on increasing property attractiveness and valuation for investors, owners and occupiers, and seeks to encourage safer and more sustainable urban properties.
IFM said on Friday that it brings, in addition to its investment, a “wealth of networks, relationships and specialist skill sets”, which will be leveraged to support SUPA’s growth strategy.
According to the firm, the SUPA board and management team unanimously supported the investment by IFM, with the transaction expected to complete in August 2023 subject to SUPA shareholder approval.
At completion, Daniela Wegner and Jeremy Larkin from IFM are expected to join the SUPA board.
SUPA Group CEO Geoff Horth said the partnership will allow SUPA to better engage with property investors, developers and owners.
“We are delighted to be partnering with IFM on this next stage of our exciting growth journey. It will provide growth capital to deliver our existing pipeline of projects, while allowing us to make further investments to increase our market share,” Mr Horth said.
“Over several months working with the IFM team, it has become clear that this opportunity is in the best long-term interests of the company. IFM’s relationships and networks, our alignment on strategy and ambition, and our shared values provide the ideal platform for us to deliver outstanding returns for all SUPA investors.”
IFM executive director Jeremy Larkin also welcomed the partnership.
“Our investment in SUPA is aligned with IFM’s private equity strategy of investing in companies that it assesses as having a proven, resilient business model and an actionable growth agenda, which have the potential to deliver returns to our investors and their beneficiaries, which include millions of working people,” he said.
“We are delighted to be partnering with SUPA on their mission to improve the lifestyles of people living and working in apartment complexes and other multidwelling properties all across Australia.”
A report by IFM, released in April, also concluded that infrastructure assets are demonstrating significant resilience amid heightened levels of global economic uncertainty.
According to the fund manager, the asset class’s favourable links with inflation and steady underlying demand are creating a supportive environment for infrastructure equity and debt investment.
IFM acknowledged that infrastructure would not be immune to the challenges arising from the more difficult macroeconomic environment. However, the global fund manager said that resilience is expected to continue across a number of key sectors moving forward.