ABP sold its €54m stake in Australian mining group Jupiter Mines last week, as the €493bn Dutch pension fund locked heads with the company over the demerger of its iron ore activities.

ABP had been effectively blocking the demerger which had sparked Jupiter Mines’s ire.

Business paper Australian Financial Review reported on Thursday that one specific investor had sold a 13.8% stake in Jupiter for AUD84m (€54m). The paper concluded this investor was ABP as there was no other shareholder with such a large stake in the firm. ABP and APG – the fund’s asset manager – declined to comment on the matter.

Jupiter Mines’ newly established iron ore division, called Juno Minerals, also published an item concerning the transaction on its Linkedin page. “The departure of Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP from the Jupiter Mines register has positive implications for the Juno Minerals IPO, which is open now,” Juno Minerals said.

Juno Minerals’ IPO has been planned for May.

Jupiter Mines openly criticised ABP for blocking the demerger of Juno Minerals last month as the Dutch pension fund refused to ask Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for permission to invest in Juno. ABP’s asset manager APG said at the time that it did not want a stake in the new firm.

ABP had been investing in Jupiter Mines since 2012, when it still was a private firm. At the time, ABP invested AUD40m in the company via a private equity manager. In 2018, the firm was listed. This explains ABP’s relatively large share in Jupiter Mines.

Stakes of this magnitude are not an exception for APG. In 2018 it reported a 10% stake in engineering firm Arcadis. According to data collector Whalewisdom, APG owned 9% of the shares of US firms WD40 and MSA Safety.

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