A long-running dispute between AustralianSuper and the Future Fund over shares in Perth Airport has resulted in a $7 million settlement that the industry fund says will be used to compensate its members.
Yesterday after a battle in the Federal court that spanned two years the Future Fund agreed to pay AustralianSuper $7 million in an out-of-court settlement.
The claim related to the Future Fund’s $875 million acquisition of a shareholding in Perth Airport as part of an agreement in 2012 to acquire $2 billion of airport assets from Australian Infrastructure Fund (AIX).
The superannuation fund said the Future Fund had inflated the price of a number of AIX assets it purchased.
Last year AustralianSuper chief investment officer Mark Delaney said in an affidavit that the fund lost up to $33.5 million because of the re-valuation.
Despite this gap, AustralianSuper said in a statement that it was “pleased with the settlement”.
The figure which will be paid on 30 June 2015 will not only compensate AustralianSuper for member losses, but will also cover the industry superannuation fund’s court costs in full, according to the fund.
“AustralianSuper is pleased that its resolve to protect its members and maintain those high standards has resulted in a settlement that improves the returns for AustralianSuper’s members,” the fund said in a statement.
Despite an agreement to pay the $7 million sum, the Future Fund has not admitted liability, saying that it was “pleased” to have settled the case, saying that it had chosen to settle the lawsuit for “commercial reasons”.
“The Future Fund has always maintained that it has acted appropriately and properly at all times, and in settling this matter has not admitted any liability,” the sovereign wealth fund said in a statement.
“The Future Fund has chosen to settle the lawsuit for purely commercial reasons, to avoid ongoing legal costs and to enable the fund’s management to fully focus on the important task of continuing the strong growth of the fund for the benefit of all Australians.”
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