Future Fund accused of 'misleading conduct' over airport

Australia's biggest superannuation fund, AustralianSuper, has accused the federal government's Future Fund of engaging in "misleading or deceptive conduct" over its purchase of a stake in Perth Airport.

Australia's biggest superannuation fund, AustralianSuper, has accused the federal government's Future Fund of engaging in "misleading or deceptive conduct" over its purchase of a stake in Perth Airport.

AustralianSuper alleges the $92 billion Future Fund deliberately inflated the amount it paid for a third of the airport, pricing AustralianSuper out of the market.

A writ filed with the Victorian Supreme Court last week does not specify damages, but in previous rounds of the dispute AustralianSuper has estimated a loss of up to $33.5 million.

AustralianSuper, which is also an investor in the airport, claims the Future Fund priced it out of increasing its holding, by ascribing a premium of up to 43 per cent to the airport.

The Future Fund acquired the Perth Airport stake as part of a proposed $2 billion bundle of assets it planned to buy from the ASX-listed Australian Infrastructure Fund in November last year.

It allocated $875 million to the Perth Airport stake - $128 million more than the highest price set by independent valuer Grant Samuel.

As a 5 per cent shareholder in the airport, AustralianSuper had the right to match the Future Fund's offer but decided not to because the price "was beyond market value", it said in the writ.

It alleges the "Future Fund's purchase price allocations did not reflect a view capable of being held on rational and/or reasonable grounds as the relative value of the assets to Future Fund".

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